HSBC Holdings

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HSBC Holdings Reviews

1,014 Reviews
1,014 Reviews
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HSBC Holdings Chief Executive Stuart T. Gulliver
Stuart T. Gulliver
292 Ratings

    The NHS of Banking - Too Big, Too Complex, Too Inefficient !

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Vice President in London, England
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Vice President in London, England

    I worked at HSBC Holdings as a contractor (more than 3 years)


    Good friendly work culture, good facilities and flexi-hours. Worked at both the investment and commercial bank. Benchmarking with an American bank, the culture is more pleasant and less aggressive across all levels of management.


    1. Bank rife with bureaucracy - particularly within the commercial bank.
    Too many middle office people pushing paper work from one person to another, filling up forms that are not targeted and relevant to the business. With a few exceptions, most staff working there more than 10 years are "dead-wood" - find that their purpose of working there is to collect their pay monthly pay cheques and those at middle management often act as "blockers" to the detriment of getting things done. "To move a pen from A to B takes painstaking months compared to days"; too much emphasis on admin and less on the content of the job that needs to be done. Business units too siloed - lots of duplication and lack of communication.

    2. Projects are meaningless
    Huge reliance on contractors for day-to-day work who should be converted to permanent staff. Too much reliance on "programme managers"; do not understand what their role is but am told they are suppose to act as auditors to ensure "change delivery"; believe any change should be done by bona fide external consultants (BCG, McKinsey etc...) within a stipulated time frame.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the huge layers of middle management particularly in support functions; adopt a flatter management structure with less number of line management reporting - get rid of the country matrix, its makes the reporting structure too complex. Country and regional CEOs should be eliminated, this should not be a full-time job. The roles should be replaced by existing senior product representatives who should "double-hat" assuming their existing product roles as well as being the PR/Regulatory representatives for their countries - this structure is adopted by American banks. I believe there is room to get rid of 1/3 of support staff in middle and back office within the support functions such as marketing and human resources who do nothing but push paper around. Also need to adopt a more visible internal communication strategy, in my three years at HSBC, there is no "townhall" where I can physically attend or via video conference to see top management deliver their strategy updates. All communication are channeled via email or by a 4-minute video and uploaded to the intranet - maybe they are too shy!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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