HSBC has become the latest bank to scrap sales incentives for all its retail bank staff in the UK.
Since 1 January, HSBC customer-facing staff have been assessed based on sales quality and customer satisfaction rather than against sales targets.
The move follows the bank’s introduction of performance measures on behaviour as part of employee assessments in January 2012, where staff failing to meet certain criteria could not qualify for a bonus.
HSBC head of the UK business Antonio Simoes says: “We have changed how we assess and reward our employees, removing any sales targets, so they can completely focus on serving our customers’ needs and providing superior service.
“We want our customers to know they can depend on HSBC to do the right thing for them and this is the absolute focus of our employees.”
In September the FSA told firms to review their sales incentives schemes and pay redress where appropriate after a year-long investigation into how reward schemes, target-driven bonuses and pay structures were encouraging misselling.
The investigation uncovered one case where a sales team saw their bonuses multiplied by up to eight times for cross-selling protection products. In another case a firm ran a “super bonus” competition, where the first 21 people to make the required number of sales earned up to £10,000.
The Co-operative Bank announced in October it had banned sales incentives for branch staff in favour of an incentive scheme based on service, which will also be rolled out to call centre staff this year. Barclays introduced its own incentive scheme based on customer service in December.
Lloyds Banking Group, which is being investigated by the FSA over the sales incentives it offered to staff, began a pilot in October across a sample of Lloyds TSB and Halifax branches which focused on customer retention as well as bringing on new customers. From January customer facing staff such as branch managers and customer service advisers have been assessed on team performance rather than individual sales targets.