HSBC sponsored floats in Pride parades in London (pictured) and New York in 2016

Understanding the needs of a diverse customer base is vital to HSBC’s long-term success, according to Noel Quinn, Chief Executive, Global Commercial Banking, HSBC.

Welcoming attendees to Out Leadership Europe, a conference bringing together senior business leaders to discuss their role in advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, Mr Quinn said: “If customers can see themselves in HSBC when they visit us – and if we can speak to them in a way they understand and build our products and services in ways that work for them – we’ll be able to support the widest possible customer base.”

Mr Quinn also said that attracting the best and most talented people, regardless of their background, made good business sense.

He noted that HSBC had made progress in its diversity and inclusion policies, such as extending shared parental leave in the UK to take account of same-sex relationships. This was thanks, in part, to employee networks challenging the bank to be ambitious, he said. But he also acknowledged that HSBC had further to go.

Mr Quinn was recently named in the OUTstanding / FT list 2016 of role models in recognition of his support for LGBT equality in the workplace. He was one of six people from the bank named in the list (see box).

This year marks the first time that HSBC has hosted the Out Leadership summit in Europe. The bank has hosted the Out Leadership Asian summit twice before and will do so again on 15 November, when the Hong Kong office will be lit up in rainbow colours as a public symbol of the bank’s commitment to LGBT equality.

HSBC was recognised as a Top Global Employer in Stonewall’s Global Workplace Equality Index in 2015 and 2016.

Role models

Six people from HSBC have been named in the OUTstanding / FT list 2016 in recognition of their support for LGBT equality in the workplace. They are:

  • António Simões, Chief Executive, HSBC Bank plc – Hall of Fame

  • Crawford Prentice, Head of Service Recovery UK – Leading LGBT Executive

  • Stuart Barette, CMB IT Infrastructure Streamlining Manager – Future 50 LGBT Leader

  • James Davies, Head of Campaigns and International Markets, Marketing, Asia-Pacific – Future 50 LGBT Leader

  • Andy Maguire, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC – Leading Ally Executive

  • Noel Quinn, Chief Executive, Global Commercial Banking – Leading Ally Executive

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