HSBC Holdings Reviews in Canada | Glassdoor

HSBC Holdings Canada Reviews

Updated July 24, 2017
229 reviews

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3.3
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HSBC Holdings Chief Executive Stuart T. Gulliver
Stuart T. Gulliver
35 Ratings

229 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great way to get your foot in the door"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - HSBC Intern in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - HSBC Intern in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing opportunities, open a lot of doors for yourself in the banking industry

    Cons

    in Van, the internship isn't well structured, the management should get training on what the interns could be doing. Lots of days we're you won't be doing much but pressing the refresh button on your outlook

    Advice to Management

    Better guidance of interns


  2. "Personal Banker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Personal Banker in Richmond, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Personal Banker in Richmond, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at HSBC Holdings part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - People you work with are great
    - Good opportunities within the branch
    - Pay is slightly higher than other banks
    - Benefits are above average
    - Year end bonus is high depending on how the branch did

    Cons

    - Management does not care about their employees, all about sales and numbers
    - Understaffed at a high traffic branch; headcount decreased in tellers just to keep managers sitting at their desks
    - Bad experience: my stated work shifts in my contract got decreased after a couple weeks at the job due to headcount restrictions... but in reality I received more work shifts because the branch is so understaffed, but my benefits (vacation time) did not reflect my hours worked.
    - Outdated IT software... computer with black screen and green words

    Advice to Management

    Train staff properly and increase employee morale to stop high turnover

  3. "Personal Banker"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Personal Banker in Richmond, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Personal Banker in Richmond, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good opportunities within the group.

    Cons

    Old school policy, old school technologies, lack of training.

    Advice to Management

    Update the IT system.


  4. "International Bank with lots of potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Sales in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at HSBC Holdings full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very stable in commercial banking industry

    Cons

    Outside of UK, HK and few other countries, the retail banking sector needs to develop in lots of area to compete with local banks

    Advice to Management

    focus more in Retail sector to be a truly an international bank


  5. "General review"

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

    I worked at HSBC Holdings full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Many opportunities for lateral or vertical moves

    Cons

    Too much layoff in recent years


  6. "great place to work - highly recommended"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Case Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Case Manager in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Benefits , excellent work environment

    Cons

    Salary could be better for starting employees.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  7. "Be ready to be managed by incompetant staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - AML Analyst in North York, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - AML Analyst in North York, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at HSBC Holdings full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    can work the entire days allocation in 2 hours and then hang around and take as many breaks as the supervisors take.

    Cons

    Immediate supervisor (Bis) who recently became a full time employee from contact position, cant say a single, simple sentence in english. He will take all the information from people around and pretend to know everything.
    Bis has no understanding what so ever of any process but blindly follows rules.
    Be ready for un-civilised people yawning and snorting phlegm all the time.

    Advice to Management

    Hire, value, and promote deserving and eligible candidates please. Just because there is a DPA to adhere to doesnot mean you pick people with fake experience from angladesh or pakistan to work for cheap.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "It can be good or it can be bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Customer Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at HSBC Holdings (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Very flexible working arrangements. You can work from home whenever you want. Some people basically work from home all the time and only pop in to the office once or maybe twice per week. Other people go to a branch and work from there instead of making the trek in to downtown. Essentially HSBC doesn't care where you work so long as you work. It's an interesting perspective.

    - Good use of technology. Related to above, use of tech in HSBC is high. Laptops all come with soft phones that actually work as well as video conferencing. In the downtown offices, video conferencing is normal and pretty much everyone knows or figures out very quickly how to work the tech on laptops and in the various meeting rooms. The state of tech in meeting rooms is taken pretty seriously and if something is broken, it gets fixed very quickly.

    - Opportunities for international placement are incredible. HSBC is perhaps, the most international of the global financial companies. They really do operate basically everywhere. Moving from one geography to another is actively encouraged if that's what you want. When you do move, there's a well-oiled machine to take care of you. Movers will come and move your stuff; they actually pack and unpack everything. A tax expert will take care of your income taxes for a couple of years to ensure that everything transitions properly. A very informative website will help you figure out how to rent a new place at your destination, how to hire household help if applicable, how to find a good school for the kids, what you need to know about getting a driver's licence, where the good restaurants and grocery stores are ...

    - Related to above, working with international colleagues is baked in to the company DNA. You're never in a national silo; it's very normal to work with people around the world and to share ideas effortlessly.

    Cons

    - Training at HSBC is nil. You do get the usual web-based training modules but those are all so that HSBC can claim they've trained all employees on ethics, anti-money laundering etc. The training you need to be successful at your actual job simply doesn't exist. You need to figure it all out on your own and you need to figure it out very quickly.

    - Management politics completely obscure the ability to be truly successful. Middle, and I suspect upper, management spends inordinate amounts of effort and time managing up instead of taking care of the people who report to them. This is not isolated as I both saw and experienced this phenomenon across roles and across different departments. Middle management is mostly concerned about presenting a good story as opposed to managing the issues. Real business problems and correspondingly, real business opportunities go unresolved because it's more important to spin a good tale than to actually move things forward.

    - Because of management politics, motion is mistaken for progress. As long as you can show that you're "busy" you'll generally be OK. But actually accomplishing things is of relatively minimal importance.

    - Again, because of management politics, coming up with a good tale to make your boss look good is of paramount importance. With an attitude like this, it's really no wonder that HSBC has been plagued by scandals and multi-million and sometimes multi-billion dollar fines from regulators. If you think HSBC is operating above board on everything, you're completely off base. People are working to show that they're adding profit at any cost. So long as the profits roll and so long as no one is caught, that's perfectly OK.

    - Your immediate supervisor will be given wide latitude over your progress at HSBC. If you get a good boss, you're golden. If you get a bad boss, you could end up in a very bad situation. This is made possible because HR is completely non-existent at the employee level. There is little to no local HR support. Calling HR gets you to a call centre in the Philippines where you can "press 1 for ...". Once you get to a live agent, you generally get some useless answer.

    - I called HR once for an issue I was trying to deal with. The agent gave me the name of someone I could email. When I looked that person up, it turned out that I was being referred to the Senior VP of HR in my country as opposed to an HR business partner which is what I asked for in the first place. (I did not email the SVP and my HR issue was never resolved.)

    - Management politics (are you seeing a theme yet?) means that senior management tend to treat certain geographies as stepping stones. So they parachute in, do their tour of duty for 3-4 years, then move on to bigger and better things. This leads to a somewhat short-term focus on (the illusion of) results as opposed to tackling real business issues. It's the old focus on quarterly benefits instead of looking to play long-term.

    - The time off policy is bizarre. You get say, 20 days off which sounds great. But if you're sick, that counts as a day. So you really have to manage if you should call in sick or if you should drag yourself in to work just so you can save a day off.

    - HSBC is huge on security. You can't print without swiping your passcard. Everything you do with HSBC equipment is highly monitored. I get it that it's company equipment and the company reserves the right to check up on things. But the degree to which HSBC takes this is, in my opinion, extreme. Certain documents for example, cannot be printed without filling out a security requisition form. Again, in some cases I get it but in many cases the degree of security becomes a barrier to doing your job effectively.

    - As a result of the focus on security, the ability to just talk to your colleagues about various work issues is curtailed. Some projects are code-word only and employees are forced to sign very strict NDAs. Of course, once the project is implemented everyone learns about it. I never did see a project implementation that I felt justified this level of internal security. Certainly there are some things you don't want the competition to find out ahead of time, but internally I think things can be handled differently.

    - There is a high level of entitlement at HSBC. If you've been there x number of years, there's a general attitude that you're due a promotion or some level of benefits. Earning your benefits is secondary to time served.

    - In part because HSBC is such a giant beast, and in part because HR is essentially non-existent at the local level, employees are treated as assets. Which is to say, they are used in the production of various bank services, and they are depreciated over their useful life span. At the end of their life span, they are written off then disposed. In other words, don't expect any corporate thanks just because you may have done a good job.

    Advice to Management

    Stop worrying about yourself. Tackle the real business problems and let your work speak for itself. If sales or profits are down, say it. Then work on solving why sales or profits are down instead of trying to find different ways to spin things to upper management.


  9. "HSBC Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Markets Intern in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Global Markets Intern in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - People are friendly, very approachable, including senior managers.
    - Pay is hourly, and you get overtime after 40 hours a week.
    - Nice location in Toronto. In the financial district.

    Cons

    - Long hours. Normally get in around 7 and leave around 5. Although this isn't too bad compared with banking, and is in line with industry standards.
    - Company is fairly hierarchical. Lots or layers.

    Advice to Management

    As I have just started with this job, I currently do not have any advice to management. However, I will update this section, as well as the pros and cons as I start to get a better feel for the company.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Empoyment Details"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Very flexible in work life balance. Great company to work with.

    Cons

    Poor pay. Frequent changes to job assignment.

    Advice to Management

    Reward employees based on skill level and out puts


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