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HSBC latest bank to scrap sales incentives

HSBC 480

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.


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. RegulatorSaurusRex 21st February 2013 at 10:52 am

    Instead of the branch staff telling me I need a savings/enhanced/superaccount/ISA/car-houseinsurance I now get a call from an automated system after each visit to the branch or call to their helpline, it pesters me to find out what I thought of the service I received…. think I prefer to say no when the teller says I need a product…….

  2. Don’t let the banks fool anyone. The wording has been changed to reflect the FSA’s findings but the gist of team meetings/performance reviews/management is still sell sell sell.
    The banks want to sell more products because it’s profitable. They will continue to apply pressure to the staff to do this.

  3. @ Nick… I work for a provider dealing with banks and I see genuine efforts to make everything they do as customer-centric as possible. Please give them a chance!

  4. Seems resonable but lots of jobs will go. Nat West is in the process of closing hundreds of branches and Santander will follow. Over time with the advent of the internet they will be a ghost. This will speed it up as they will make most money from their savings book and nothing else. Don’t need branches to keep most of the book.

  5. come on HSBC be honest – you are still pushing for cases and you actually target how many cases have been completed – instead calling it sales you call needs…..shame on the management line managers upwards – worst bank with next big news.

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