The Wells Street Journal: Musical banks and old news

A weekly account of the curious goings-on in the world of financial services

Do you hear what I hear?
WSJ knows that many an interesting piece is part of the wider puzzle that makes up how a financial services company markets itself. In the case of HSBC, this includes music.

While browsing around on Twitter this week, WSJ saw a tweet from the bank about a new “bespoke” piece of music it hopes “will help people instantly recognise the brand across our channels from call centres through to mobile banking”.

HSBC has teamed up with French composer Jean-Michel Jarre to pen the jingle. WSJ notes that Jarre’s Wikipedia page notes him as “a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and new-age genre”. Will ambient music grab the attention of HSBC customers? Who knows.

Jarre is also known for organising music for outdoor events, including firework and laser displays. WSJ wonders where this will fit in with the aforementioned ambient tones, and how the two will merge to create HSBC’s new theme tune.

As an HSBC customer, this WSJ correspondent will let you know in due course.

St James’s Wealthy Place
It would probably be fair to say the average age of the website for the average IFA firm is on par with the average age of its IFAs. WSJ knows many are pressed for time and, in smaller firms, perhaps unable to give time to constant updates.

Advice giant St James’s Place has no excuse, however, given WSJ heard a rumour that staff count has probably surpassed a trillion.

A “nearing retirement” page on the SJP website notes that the Money Purchase Annual Allowance is £10k. In fact, the MPAA changed to £4k two years ago. Perhaps SJP can get a better deal for clients? Such are the perils of not keeping a website up to date. WSJ would like to hear that a SJP customer has challenged this…

Out of context

I’ll say some things and then tap dance out of the room

City Hive’s Bev Shah is confident her appearance at the Money Marketing Interactive conference will go down well

No one ever mentions about the neck jewellery which literally weighs her down

Lentune Mortgage Consultancy’s Stuart Gregory notes that Theresa May’s job takes more than just a mental toll 

Wait, and that was legal? I didn’t know you could to that!

An asset manager is surprised to hear that men are allowed to take their wives’ surnames

Separated at birth

Actor and comedian Simon Pegg

Nutmeg chief investment officer Shaun Port

Send your suggestions to @mm_wsj.


Bank’s “fee for no service” advice compensation costs pass half a billion

Leading Australian bank Westpac has today added another AUD$260m (£140m) to its coffers for compensating customers who received poor financial advice. The sum comes from the bank’s first-half cash earnings for the 2018/19 financial year (July 2018-June 2019). These extra funds push the total remediation bill to around AUD$650m (£350m) for the embattled bank, which […]

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Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

  • What to consider when segmenting your workforce
  • How to communicate to pension scheme members at the right time in their member lifecycle
  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them


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