HSBC Holdings Reviews

Updated August 28, 2015
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3.2
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HSBC Holdings Chief Executive Stuart T. Gulliver
Stuart T. Gulliver
13 Ratings

Pros
  • Flexible time with work/life balance (in 117 reviews)

  • flexible working, able to work from home once if not twice a week (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • No work/life balance in phone positions (in 37 reviews)

  • senior management don't seem to care too much about those who actually do the work (in 50 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

214 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good if looking for a challenge and like to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Challenging and fast paced. Decent salaries and benefits. Reward hard work, but really need to make yourself stand out.

    Cons

    Internal politics, too hierarchal, too many "cooks in the kitchen" on projects


  2. Personal Banker

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at HSBC Holdings part-time

    Pros

    Great room for improvement, offered experience for a fresh graduate. Simple and straightforward tasks at work.

    Cons

    Can be quite boring at times, might have to deal with customers with poor attitudes. Pay is not the best even for a fresh graduate.

    Advice to Management

    offer more training d af df adf asdf dfd


  3. Helpful (1)

    Don't stay too long.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst - Business Systems in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Analyst - Business Systems in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at HSBC Holdings full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This company is a decent entry level employer. I'm giving this 2 stars because of the positive experiences I've been treated more fairly than my other colleagues. With the right managers and department, one can expect some level of promotion or salary bump within 2 years. Exposes you to global teams, working alongside counterparts from various regions around the world. Wide variety of departments to work for. Some amazing and dedicated people. Remote work options, flexible hours, solid vacation structure. Staff perks and worldwide access to funds when travelling. Lots of training opportunities.

    Cons

    Not all managers are made equal - some are downright demoralizing and talk down to you. Zero accountability. Poor management practises - tolerating hugely incompetent hires, zero consequences for people who verbally abuse colleagues (sometimes in front of an entire department). Working around the clock to accommodate meetings across multiple timezones (5AM, 11PM-2AM). People sacrifice their personal lives for flagship programmes. Lack of job growth opportunities after the first promotion. Stagnant and toxic workplace culture. Highly bureaucratic. Heavy and ever-increasing reliance on offshore locations/contractors. Sacrificing quality for cost reductions on spreadsheets. Lots of old people just trying to cover their heads and fly under the radar until retirement. Performance evaluation process is not transparent and does not match the HR guidelines - what was the point? Discretionary bonuses received plus base salary equate to the base salary any competitor would have offered.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to your millennial workforce and their needs. Pay your employees what they deserve. Recognize and retain your rising talent. Be 100% transparent about performance evaluations. Take real action from the feedback that employees have posted through the numerous surveys and forums.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Soul draining --- not for those looking for a balanced life

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at HSBC Holdings full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with colleagues around the world. Great for those looking for diverse career paths. Good benefits and plenty of vacation days. Flexibility to work from home.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is nonexistent. Regular early/late conference calls (4am - 11pm, depending on which countries you're liaising with). Highly bureaucratic and inefficient. Restructures frequently. Matrix reporting leading to increased workload and conflicting priorities and messages. Targets usually set by upper management or UK headquarter without reality check with staff to determine what is reasonable. No sick days (must use vacation days if sick).

    Advice to Management

    Shift to people-focused leadership to bring out the best of your people. Burning out employees leads to low productivity and morale, loss of talent and kills creativity. Invest in technology to enable employees to perform.


  6. Great Internship Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at HSBC Holdings as an intern

    Pros

    You work with very smart people and even though it is a serious business, there is still a lot of time for fun and team building

    Cons

    The separate departments felt very silo-ed, little communication between them.

    Advice to Management

    Try to mix up the corporate culture, include more benefits


  7. Teller

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Very good exposure on a very powerful financial system. Powerful controls and procedures. Excellent environment to learn banking as it should be.

    Cons

    Cost cutting, . no promotions. recruiting new staff in a high positions, sometimes inexperienced. No mercy for any mistake


  8. Helpful (1)

    Caution ...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at HSBC Holdings full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - International opportunities are unparalleled - Work @ home whenever you want; soft phones, video conf all leveraged very well - Global brand is highly recognized - Some people seem genuinely happy in their role

    Cons

    - Ability is sometimes recognized but never nurtured - In my area (head office of retail bank), employees are not inspired to perform - Promotion from within happens a lot but is very much based on who you know; positions aren't well advertised / promoted. You just need to know someone higher in the food chain and that person will pluck you out of whatever you're doing to move into a new role. - In my area things are very hierarchical. Rank matters more than ability. - Specifics don't matter. One of our goals for example is to "grow deposits in the bank". There's no mention of grow deposits [$x] by [time] so this way no one can be held accountable to anything. The setting of specific, measurable goals is assiduously avoided at all levels. - As a result of fuzzy goals, execution is also very fuzzy. People do things and it doesn't matter because there's no measurement to success. - There are over 250,000 HSBC employees worldwide. That's a lot of inertia to overcome. Identifying challenges and problems is easy; getting buy in to address them can be impossible. "It's not my job to solve this" is a prevalent attitude

    Advice to Management

    I would say that "empowerment" is key, but that's largely because in my role I'm not empowered (by my boss) to do anything. I see other people in different areas who can move with a little more latitude, but that's not universally true. The overwhelming perception I have of HSBC is one of "don't trust, verify, then only partially trust". I would prefer "trust but verify". For example, we aren't allowed to email files over a certain size limit, but we also aren't allowed to share files (internally let alone externally) unless people are authorized to see the same shared drive. So for me to share a large attachment, I need to have someone fill out a form which works its way through the approval system, then that person can see a portion of a shared drive we both have access to. An alternative I think would be to have shared drives that anyone (internally) could use, with the caveat that once the item has been shared, it should be deleted. Furthermore, you should only try, as much as reasonably possible, to share in real time and not simply leave stuff on the drive overnight or whatever. To assist in security, the drives could auto-wipe every 24h or so. But a proposal like this would fall on deaf ears which is quite frustrating, because improvements get squashed before they even have a chance. I'm also in the unfortunate position of having a very bad boss who really doesn't have a clue how to manage. My boss actually has some pretty decent ideas on how to transform the business and some of these ideas have met with reasonable success once we've implemented them. As a person my boss is just OK but as a manager my boss is clueless and useless; all the "managing" time is spent managing up with the result being my teammates and I are left trying to figure out what's going on and what to do to support it. Some bosses at HSBC are pretty good - I can see that. But in my case I'm stuck with a bad boss and that's colouring my perception of the bank overall.


  9. A company gives a good international exposure

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Risk Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Risk Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1. Easy to get relocated internationally 2. Flexible work hours 3. Friendly work environment

    Cons

    1. Budget constrain, thus it is common to see people work OT.


  10. Senior Product Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good Salary, good banking benefits, can work remotely.

    Cons

    Canadian Division lacks direction. Can not catch the competitors. Grinding hours


  11. Great place to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at HSBC Holdings full-time

    Pros

    Supportive environment supporting growth and diversity

    Cons

    Project Approval / Change process is time-consuming



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