At HSBC, how we do business matters as much as what we do. Good decision-making is crucial. We want to support all employees to exercise their judgement. Sometimes, the best course of action is unclear, but we hope by focusing on the interests of our customers and the communities we serve, we will also do what is right for HSBC.

Our Charter gives examples from the bank’s history where employees have done the right thing – building long-term relationships, rather than pursuing short-term profits; going above and beyond the minimum standards required by law; and taking careful account of the impact of their actions on customers, communities and broader society.

The document sets out some guiding principles to help all our employees, at every level of the organisation, evaluate the potential impact of their actions on the bank, our customers and the communities where we operate. It says: “Whether we speak to customers daily or we support those who do, each of us can make decisions that shape the future for better or worse. This is a privilege and a responsibility.” Finally, the Charter outlines the support available to anyone who wants to speak up, including our confidential whistleblowing line.

The Charter is being sent to all employees in HSBC to encourage debate and to help them feel confident about exercising their judgement in the course of their work. Everyone who joins the bank will be expected to read it.