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HSBC's disappearing staff are already arriving in new jobs

People have been leaving HSBC. Some have been doing so voluntarily. Others have been doing so as part of the bank's program of 35,000 job cuts, of which it still has 24,000 to go.

HSBC insiders suggest that HSBC bankers are already quitting after a disappointing bonus round. - An analyst on the New York FX options desk is understood to have left yesterday, with more exits expected in the weeks to come. Richard "Astro" Oliver's team in London is thought to be particularly susceptible to exits. - Oliver manages EMEA cash FX trading, and bonuses were seemingly disappointing even though FX trading revenues globally were up 26%.

It's too soon for people leaving because of bonus disappointment to appear in new roles, but several of the senior people who left - or were let go by - HSBC in 2020 are resurfacing. Many of them worked in operations or technology.

In London, for example, Joanne Keith, the former chief control officer for global commercial banking at HSBC has just reinvented herself in the job of the moment. - Keith joined JPMorgan as an executive director in digital and platform services. Nicholas Neglen, the former chief operating officer and COO for EMEA at HSBC's private bank, has also reappeared as CFO of Klarna, Europe's 'highest value private fintech.' Marcus Wogart, the former chief compliance officer for wealth and private banking, has arrived at NatWest. And Ceri Picton, a former COO for global technology, has arrived as transformation program officer at marketing firm WPP.

In New York, Scott Kerbel, HSBC's former head of U.S. retail structured products, has found himself a new role as a partner at something called the Knickerbocker Financial Group. 

It's no coincidence that many of those who left HSBC last year were senior. - The bank is actively seeking to take out layers of expensive middle management. It's also shaking up the technology division under Steve Van Wyk, its new global chief information officer, which might explain why Richard Hawkins, the bank's former CIO for Europe has also just left after 17 years. 

While HSBC can afford to lose some of its highly bureaucrats, however, it's probably less keen to lose some of the traders who helped generate a 33% increase in fixed income trading revenues last year. Following widespread complaints about HSBC's 2020 bonus pool, this could be a danger in the weeks to come.

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Photo by Serhat Beyazkaya on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • JJ
    17 March 2021

    Always struck me how many vice chairmen they have, nice comp and do bugger all. They had hired this guy as Vice Chairman into their banking business who had almost zero client relationships and had a previous reputation for jumping onto other peoples’ deals. The mood music from DB is that they are very happy with their recent departure to HSBC.

  • Cg
    16 March 2021

    So this is why hundreds of people in business have not heard anything regarding their bounce back loan top up application with HSBC but I notice they swiftly put out the bounce back payment letters out and overdraft costs etc complaints go unanswered so uninvestigated, the local branch here do not give face to face chats and assistance unless you are a migrant!! Now a pretty shoddy bank!

  • Io
    16 March 2021

    Why everyone you mentioned are all in middle or back office? Any ideas on traders? Are they able to land new jobs with trading being the only skill they mastered?

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