As we noted last week, it was arguably easy for Goldman Sachs to tell its juniors they were wanted back in the office after it hiked their salaries to $110k and "splashed' generous bonuses all over them.
HSBC hasn't got the same leverage. The London-based bank has only increased junior banker salaries to the new baseline of $100k (from $85k) and unlike U.S. banks, it doesn't pay its analyst bonuses in August, so its juniors don't have the warm flush of a recent bonus to encourage them.
Nonetheless, HSBC is hefting its weight around and demanding that its bankers and traders return to the office full time.
Bloomberg reports today that HSBC's traders, salespeople and close support people have been told that they're expected back in the office five days a week and that, "The only exceptions will be for domestic emergencies and unavoidable family commitments."
HSBC declined to comment on Bloomberg's claims. We understand that its back to the office edict also applies to HSBC's junior bankers, although there may be more flexibility than implied by the suggestion that exceptions only apply to "domestic emergencies and unavoidable family commitments."
Nonetheless, the tone is clearly changing. And it's not just U.S. investment banks that are altering it.
HSBC's demand that people come back to their desks suggests banks are increasingly confident that the pandemic is over and that staff can be commanded out of their homes. It also suggests that HSBC is not too bothered about people sharing lifts anymore. - In 2020, restrictions on the number of people per left at HSBC's offices in Canary Wharf made getting in and out of the building too time-consuming to be practical for large numbers of staff.
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