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HSBC latest bank to scrap sales incentives

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HSBC has become the latest bank to scrap sales incentives for its retail bank staff in the UK.

Since 1 January, HSBC’s customer-facing staff have been assessed on sales quality and customer satisfaction rather than sales targets.

The move follows the bank’s introduction of behaviour performance measures as part of employee assessments in January 2012, where staff who failed 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.”

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 were encouraging misselling.

The Co-operative Bank and Barclays announced in October they have scrapped sales incentives for branch staff in favour of incentive schemes based on customer service.

Lloyds Banking Group, which is being investigated by the FSA over its sales incentives, also began a pilot scheme in October focusing incentives on customer retention as well as new business.

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “It is good to see the banks scrapping sales incentives as they can lead to misselling. But for a long period of time bank staff have been there to sell to people, so if that is taken away I am not sure what role is left for them.”

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