HSBC, which today (Monday 5 August) became the latest bank to announce its profit figures, needs to adopt a new positive attitude to its workforce which has borne the brunt of the banking crisis.
Unite, the country’s largest union, said that HSBC’s ten per cent jump in profits to 14.1 billion US dollars (£9.2 billion) showed the bank could well afford to be more generous in terms of job security and boosting the pay of its staff.
Unite national officer for finance Dominic Hook said: “As the UK’s banking sector returns to profitability – and these HSBC results follow hard on the heels of the profits of RBS and Lloyds unveiled last week – there needs to be a new dawn in how banks treat their workforces.
“Since the banking crisis was kicked off by Northern Rock’s bail out in 2008, the workforce in Britain’s financial sector has borne the savage brunt of the boardroom failings by paying with their jobs.
“Bank bosses need to recognise that the return to profitability has been, in large part, due to the hard work of the customer facing workforce – and these employees need to be rewarded by stopping the unnecessary job cuts and creating a culture of greater job security.
“In glaring contrast to the bloated pay and bonus packages of the CEOs’ and other top directors, the average bank employee earns between £15,000 and £26,000 a year.
“Unite recognises that HSBC pays the living wage, however low pay across the sector means that many employees have to claim benefits or working tax credits.
“This means the taxpayer is subsidising low pay, when decent wages should be the responsibility of the employer generating healthy profits.
“Staff needs to share in the newly announced profits of the banking sector in the UK which they have so substantially contributed to.”
By the end of 2013, Britain's big four banks, including HSBC, will have axed 189,000 jobs around the world in the last five years since the banking crisis broke in 2008.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.