The Unite union is calling on the banking sector to adopt a new positive attitude towards its workforce. It comes after HSBC announced a 10% rise in profits.
Bank bosses need to recognise that the return to profitability has been, in large part, due to the hard work of the customer facing workforce – and these employees need to be rewarded by stopping the unnecessary job cuts and creating a culture of greater job security.
Staff need to share in the newly announced profits of the banking sector in the UK which they have so substantially contributed to.
– Dominic Hook, Unite national officer for finance
Bill Oddie accused HSBC of funding the desecration of rainforests at the banking giant's annual general meeting.
HSBC's board members were confronted by the 71-year-old birdwatcher and broadcaster over its links to firms operating in Borneo.
Oddie, who used his position as a shareholder to raise the issue, said, "What's happening is that the logging companies have got the confidence and power and reputation because they have been funded by HSBC to expand and they are expanding across the world".
He added, "There's a huge desecration which at the root is funded by HSBC".
HSBC said it requires those banking with it to operate "legally and sustainably to protect the environment and local people" and has stopped providing services to 68 clients who failed to meet its standards.
Chief executive Stuart Gulliver urged Oddie to work with HSBC to tackle the issue, saying, "Give us the chance to be a force for good".
HSBC said that 1,149 roles will cut, with changes reflecting the changing nature of customer behaviour and regulation.
The bank said that a total of 3,166 employees will be impacted by the changes but hopes that through the creation of 2,017 new roles that it is expected that the majority of these roles will be filled by displaced employees.
Better serving our customers, particularly for their wealth management needs, is essential if we are to fulfil our aspiration of becoming the world's leading international bank. These proposals, together with the recent removal of all sales targets for our employees and the complete decoupling of incentives from those sales, mean our customers can expect us to fully focus on serving their needs and do the right thing. Evolving and improving our culture will take time but the changes announced today are another step in the right direction.
– Antonio Simoes, Head of the UK Bank and Deputy CEO of HSBC Bank plc