HSBC raises wages of junior investment bankers

Business | 30 Apr 2021 6:52 pm

HSBC Holdings global banking unit will raise fixed pay for junior investment bankers in key hubs and hire more of them to share the workload.

The lender will also shorten a four year associate program for certain groups in hub locations, including Hong Kong, London and the U.S., according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. Associates with three years experience will now be considered for promotion to vice president, or associate director, the memo said.

The work-till-you-drop culture of global finance has come to the fore in recent months as Covid-19 has emptied office towers in New York, London and beyond and the industry experiences one of its busiest years in memory.

A recent internal presentation by junior analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on their workload set Wall Street abuzz when the document found its way onto the internet while a LinkedIn post from an HSBC contractor about his experience in having a heart attack went viral. Several major banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman, have promised to lighten the load.

HSBC also plans to increase the number of analyst and associate hires in key business lines and told staff at its investment bank to limit pitch books to 25 pages and that additional measures will be taken to enforce its “protected weekend” policy and ensure that everyone takes enough annual leave. A spokesperson for the lender confirmed the contents of the memo.

The changes come even as the bank, which cut variable pay about 20 percent last year, is trying to keep a lid on costs as part of its response to the pandemic, with plans to cut its workforce by about 35,000.


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