Our stories about HSBC's compensation changes, which appeared originally online, received a great deal of attention from readers. The two opposing views — one for the HSBC switch, the other against — are reflected in the comments we received. Here is a sampling:

"I believe HSBC is taking a courageous step to address an issue many in the industry have been dealing with: namely, disparate compensation scenarios which impede joint sales and relationship management objectives. I would imagine other providers would like to make the same change, but are fearful of the consequences. It could be that the fall-off in production feared by some may not be as great as anticipated. The new compensation structure's goal of more closely aligning all employees to work in the best interests of clients may just produce enough business to overcome any contemplated loss in revenues caused by the change in comp structure. Time will tell." — David S.

"As an industry veteran I keep a close eye on the brokers in NYC. It will be very interesting to see if this U.K. bank can pull this off. Part of my activities includes recruitment, and based on conversations that I have had with various HSBC bankers and brokers the general feeling is negative. The adjective that continues to come up is "demoralized." HSBC has never been an industry leader nor has it been very profitable in their U.S. division for the last decade. They will probably lose talented individuals at a gradual pace in my opinion, but I am very curious to sit back and see how it unfolds. HSBC is making the classic mistake of trying to have their key salespeople be all things to all people; it's a recipe for lower revenue and dilution of the business." — Jim P.

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