HSBC tells senior executives to prepare for management revamp

HSBC Holdings’ streamlining drive has reached its top executives, with the bank promising to shake up a “hierarchical culture.”

Several hundred managers will have their “leadership bands” altered over the coming months, according to an internal memo from human resources chief, Elaine Arden, seen by Bloomberg News.

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Europe’s largest bank found it had a more complicated management system than peers and a lack of consistency in “how we determine the seniority of roles,” according to the memo. HSBC now plans to merge its top four bands into three, starting in September.

“Following a thorough review, we are creating a simpler leadership framework ensuring clarity on scope and accountability to help accelerate our transformation and drive growth,” HSBC said in an emailed statement. “There will be no change to contractual employee benefits as a result of this change.”

Currently, HSBC has group managing directors and group general managers, as well as executive ranks it calls GCB1 and GCB2. In the new structure, these classes will be replaced by group executives, general managers and managing directors.

Though the changes have no impact on pay and conditions, there are concerns that the move could mean some are effectively demoted, according to people familiar with the matter.

HSBC is undergoing a global restructuring that will cut thousands of jobs and refocus on its Asian business, particularly its wealth management unit in the region.

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