CompaniesApr 23 2013

HSBC restructuring to bolster face-to-face advice offering

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HSBC is set to merge its commercial and retail advice arms in a restructuring that will see a net loss of 1,149 roles but that will boost the number of face-to-face advisers by around 300.

Under the proposed restructure, the commercial advice arm will be folded into the bank’s existing retail advice offering from 1 June 2013.

Across both arms the bank has approximately 570 advisers. A spokesperson for HSBC said the restructure will increase this to 853, representing a net increase of 283 in the number of staff offering face-to-face regulated advice.

Falling under the axe will be 942 relationship managers who do not - and have never given - advice, but instead acted as a first point of contact for the bank’s premiere customers who had at least £50,000 in investible assets.

The redundancies follow a decision by the bank to have all relationship managers diploma qualified as a result of the Retail Distribution Review.

A total of 3,166 roles could be made redundant under the restructure, with the bank creating 2,017 new roles, leaving a net reduction of 1,149 jobs. The spokesperson said the bank will prioritise migrating current employees into those newly-created jobs.

Brian Robertson, chief executive officer of HSBC Bank plc, said: “I understand change is always unsettling, particularly for those directly affected. However, I also firmly believe what we are proposing is essential in order for us to fulfil our customers’ expectations.

“With the banking behaviour of our customers continually evolving we must change our business to meet their needs. We are doing everything possible to offer impacted employees opportunities from the many newly created roles, and I’m confident a significant majority will remain with the bank.”

This is the latest upheaval in the bank advice market, following news last week (17 April) that Axa UK was withdrawing its advice offering from the Co-operative, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.