American Express Reviews in United Kingdom | Glassdoor

American Express UK Reviews

Updated August 16, 2017
53 reviews

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United Kingdom

3.0
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American Express Managing Director Rafael Marquez
Rafael Marquez
1 Rating

53 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Excellent benefits, not so excellent culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - TLS in Brighton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - TLS in Brighton, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Express full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues and talent
    Modern offices
    Excellent benefits and perks

    Cons

    Never availability to take holiday
    No career progression opportunities
    Does not value skill or experience
    Shift work was not scheduled to actual clients needs (understaffed on nights)

    Advice to Management

    Ken, the problem is not you; it's middle management.
    Value the knowledge of your staff


  2. "Mixed opinions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Director in London, England (UK)
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at American Express full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    collaborative culture and friendly colleagues

    Cons

    difficult to get quick decisions, lack of growth means limited professional opportunities

  3. Helpful (2)

    "A well respected brand but nepotism is rife"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Care Professional in Brighton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Customer Care Professional in Brighton, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Express full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Can be a fun environment
    Opportunities if you are young and work your way up
    Some excellent senior management who's door is always open
    Company helps local charities and encourages workforce to volunteer
    Can be good for working parents. Beware though,, I saw two highly capable and well liked team leaders return from maternity leave, to find that they had been demoted to band 25 because they wanted to work part time.
    Excellent training in customer care and very customer focused - but really this equates to being shareholder focused.

    Cons

    Nepotism
    Ageism
    Some team leaders are a block and have no people skills, often less experienced than the team they lead. Some are downright rude, vacuous and illiterate.
    Plenty of learning going on, but often to no avail.
    It can be extremely difficult to move from a band 25 upwards to a band 30, unless you are 'in the know'
    If you are a band 25 and wish to move to a different department, you have to start on the phone ... all over again.
    Too much monitoring and stack ranking, often applied where it is highly inappropriate and just does not work. This causes awful stress and anxiety in the workforce.
    You can have excellent skills, but if for some reason, often anomalies in broken outmoded matrix system; you are low on the stack rank, not only will you not be able to move upwards, but you could be fired. Very concerning.
    A really nasty culture of covertly listening to conversations of others - I mean really listening, whilst appearing not to, in order to gain information of what is happening 'on the floor' at band 25 level. This is really unsettling. Team leaders and middle managers do it ALL THE TIME.
    The new building in John Street Brighton, has in my opinion (experience) got sick building syndrome.
    An expectation that you will work very hard and then some for below industry standard pay and put in extra time and effort for free.
    Jobs have often already been given to someone and the whole lengthy process of applying is merely a futile box ticking exercise - very frustrating and demoralising.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage more honest feedback from lowly band 25 staff - but please act on it.
    Encourage team leaders to have a more diverse workforce - across age groups.
    Only use stack ranking where it is appropriate and not as a blanket rule.
    Look very carefully into the nepotism. It exists and strongly so.
    My last team leader even told me that most of the team leaders she knows give jobs to their friends. Certainly she did that.
    Acknowledge skills gained outside American Express, develop them.
    Stop having job fairs, if they are leading nowhere. Just a waste of everyone's time otherwise.
    Take a leaf out of LinkedIn's book and treat your staff with more trust and respect.
    The only reason that I did not give Senior Management 5 stars, is because I cannot understand how they fail to see what is going on at ground level and why they do not push for change. Come on Ken, get real information and not just statistics.


  4. "Had better days but will be great again"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Brighton, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Brighton, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at American Express full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    You can evolve internally if you are motivated

    Cons

    Performance process and salary grid

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you understand their your leader's scorecard, if it is unclear, think twice!


  5. "High pay rates but poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Burgess Hill, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Burgess Hill, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Express full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong work life balance
    High pay rates.

    Cons

    Slow progression
    People doing jobs they are in fact overqualified for
    Difficult to change job functions
    Company constantly in transitional stages so high rates of redundancy

    Advice to Management

    Hire and promote based on skill not popularity. Allow transitions between roles that make sense.


  6. "Middle of the road"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Express full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible working, family friendly, good brand to work for

    Cons

    Lack of career progression in UK Product/tech, low salary

    Advice to Management

    Be more honest with staff


  7. "Amex Brighton"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brighton, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brighton, England (UK)

    I have been working at American Express (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Team Mates
    Modern Office
    Seaside location
    Vibrant City

    Cons

    Limited Development Opportunities if you deviate from their ideal

    Advice to Management

    Follow through on developing people, not just using them for your own gain

  8. "Very difficult to get employment reference once you have left"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Express (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good customer centric ethos - genuine tries to do the right thing
    Opportunities to change working location/ role
    Supportive of flexible working
    Good office locations (Brighton/ London Victoria)

    Cons

    Very difficult to get an employment reference once you leave - only via post or fax (no email/ phone) - I almost lost a job offer for this reason
    Corporate feeling offices, lack some innovation
    Career opportunities very dependant on location/ team

    Advice to Management

    Put a better process in for employees to get references once they have left - at least provide an email, this can have a material impact on peoples' careers and lives


  9. "Management could do with a shake up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Risk Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Risk Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Express full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work life balance can be good but this is at the discretion of your manager. Good brand for the CV.

    Cons

    Lack of decision making and responsibility in most levels management from senior management to middle management level. No sense of meritocracy, no transparency in bonuses or promotions. London severely underpaid in comparison to other regions.

    Advice to Management

    Do not keep management for the sake of it. Hire leaders who know what they are doing.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Good pay, fairly good office culture, usual corporate politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Burgess Hill, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Burgess Hill, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at American Express part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    One of the most generous pay and benefits packages outside of London
    Good working hours - some people work late but you don't feel obliged to work past 5pm and many people leave early and work flexible patterns.
    Occasional or regular home-working is possible in many teams
    A fair amount of 'fun' activities and training opportunities onsite to keep employee morale up
    Lovely new office building

    Cons

    - Typically male dominated workplace in tech organisation. A macho culture in some teams - if you're not into sports, cars and going to the gym, you might not have much to chat to your colleagues about.
    - Performance/year-end ratings process is tedious, draining, unfair and unpleasant, nasty feedback is given under the guise of 'constructive criticism'.
    - Frequent "restructures" - redundancies nearly every year, job doesn't feel secure
    - Have seen leaders bully employees, no easy way to report this without fear of consequences
    - American corporate culture - for obvious reasons - and a lot of the 'good stuff' happens over in the US so UK teams are often left feeling powerless or second-best.
    - Have also seen younger colleagues ostracized in teams of long-tenured employees
    - Lots of secrecy about all sorts of decision making, lack of openness, of course some things have to be confidential at a financial company but some decisions that affect employees, should be openly discussed rather than whispering about literally everything as if we're cold war spies!
    - Lots of incompetent people holding onto their positions by charming leadership - 'networking' seems more important than actual competence at doing your job
    - Likewise, incompetent people seem to feel threatened by employees who are actually talented, so some of these talented individuals end up at the bottom of the pile, of course the sensible ones leave for greener pastures!
    - The year-end rating system pits employees against eachother instead of encouraging collaboration, and again, charming your leaders and blowing your own trumpet loudly seems to be a faster route to success than actually doing a good job.
    - It's even worse the higher up you go, with VPs always trying to protect and expand their empire as if it's Game of Thrones, this is not immediately evident when you're lower down the ranks but have a frank discussion with a VP and you realise how much they're playing eachother for bonuses and survival.
    - Terrible food and coffee in canteen...

    Advice to Management

    Cut the corporate politics and be genuine and open with employees.
    Improve year-end process to be more positive.
    Make the workplace more welcoming for women - less 'lad culture' and more female tech hires would be a good start.
    Better coffee and canteen food!


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