Earlier this week, we learned that two HSBC employees had sued the bank, claiming that they had been demoted and had their bonuses cut by more than 60 percent after reporting a superior’s conduct– which allegedly included strongly encouraging an underling to have sex with various male employees, attempting to pull her top down in public, and so on and so forth. Then on Tuesday, the firm scored a rare trifecta when a third employee filed suit against it, claiming that he’d been fired for complaining about a colleague touching him in places no one wants to be touched by their colleagues, and also requesting favors of the sexual variety. Read more »
HSBC Adds Another Notch To The Ole ‘Sued By An Employee Who Was Punished After Reporting Sexual Harassment’ BeltBy Bess Levin
Duo Of HSBC Directors Will Only Sit On Bank Boards With Lax Rules Re: Holding Bankers Accountable For Their Actions, Thank You Very MuchBy Bess Levin
Two independent directors on the board that oversees HSBC’s British business may leave the bank over stricter rules aimed at holding bankers more accountable for reckless actions that may lead to the failure of a lender, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Alan Thomson, a member of the audit and risk committees at HSBC Bank, has tendered his resignation and will leave the bank later this month, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. John Trueman, deputy chairman of the bank’s British business, is also considering whether to leave over the new rules. [Dealbook]
HSBC has given 15 of its top bankers “fixed pay allowance arrangements” worth £7.1m under a controversial new pay scheme designed to dodge tough new European Union rules on bankers’ bonuses…The awards are part of big banks’ plans to increase the basic pay of executives to sidestep tough new EU rules designed to clamp down on excessive bonuses. Banks have turned to awarding fixed pay allowances after the EU ruled to cap bonuses to 200% of salary, even if shareholders wanted to approve higher payments. The new payments are counted as fixed pay, which means banks can, with shareholder approval, pay bonuses of 200% of bankers’ collective basic pay and fixed pay allowances. The fresh money, which is not subject to clawbacks designed to retrospectively recoup bonuses in the event of any wrongdoing emerging in the future, covers the first half of the year – and bankers can look forward to further payments every three months. A fifth of the shares will vest in March 2015, with the rest locked up until 2020. [Guardian]
HSBC’s chief legal officer has figured out how to ferret out “the truly bad actors:” Part of it involves the bank actually looking for them, but the much bigger part comes with a bill to taxpayers. Read more »
Remember that time HSBC was found to be running a lucrative money-laundering business on the side, cheerfully doing business with Mexican and Colombian drug cartels, the Iranians, Burmese and the Cubans? And how it agreed to stop and be a good boy and oh yea pay about $2 billion if federal prosecutors agreed not to file criminal charges against it?
Luxury fashion may be switching gender and age roles. In much of the world now, the most attractive demographic for such companies as Burberry (BRBY) and Coach (COH) isn’t middle-aged women with sky-high credit limits; it’s twentysomething men with smartphones and self-esteem issues. At least that’s the theory put forth recently by a three researchers at HSBC. The future of retail is in young, urban males—or as HSBC dubs them, “Yummies” (a handy verbal shortcut if one can say it without gagging). “The metro-sexual, that cliché from 20 years ago, is now becoming a commercial reality,” the HSBC team writes…But hasn’t it always been thus? Apparently not. HSBC notes that a lot of men are marrying later in life these days, freeing up income in their twenties that would otherwise have gone to supporting a family. The college fund can go to Coach totes, and the diaper budget is diverted to baby-soft driving moccasins. In trying to impress, HSBC says many young men are also looking past cars for the first time. After all, anyone with a few hundred dollars a month to spare can lease a Lexus (TM), but a traveling martini satchel from Tumi (TUMI) takes $5,000. [BusinessWeek]