How we do business

Find out how HSBC is working to meet its responsibilities.

Committed to sustainable growth

At HSBC, we recognise that how we do business is as important as what we do. We have a responsibility to our customers, employees and the communities in which we operate and understand that to achieve success in the long term, economic growth must also be sustainable.

We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and to help the global transition to a low-carbon economy. We are mindful of our social responsibilities, and committed to high standards of governance.

We also recognise our responsibility to be transparent and open about our impact on people and the planet. We publish regularly updated material on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance on our corporate website, as well as in dedicated ESG updates.


We are supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy. We are working to ensure our own operations are sustainable and supporting our customers and their supply chains to reduce their own impact on the environment.

This includes embedding sustainability into the products and services we offer in areas including capital markets, lending, transaction banking, advisory services and investments. We also maintain robust climate-related risk management in sectors such as energy, palm oil and forestry.

Our sustainable finance targets

We have pledged to provide and facilitate USD100 billion of sustainable financing and investment between 2017 and 2025. We continue to make progress towards this goal: by the end of 2019 we had provided USD52.4 billion.

Our work in this area includes: advising clients and helping them to access capital markets; developing products such as green, social and sustainable bonds; providing loans for projects that meet green criteria; and managing socially responsible investment funds.

You can read more about the activities that contribute towards this commitment in our data dictionary (PDF 76KB).

Cumulative progress (USD billion) on sustainable financing

By the end of 2019, we had achieved USD52.4 billion of our goal to provide and facilitate USD100 billion of sustainable financing and investment between 2017 and 2025.

Key facts: environmental

Fact: 29.4 per cent of our global electricity usage is covered by renewable power purchase agreements
Fact: HSBC was named World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance 2019 by Euromoney magazine
Fact: HSBC’s carbon emissions per full-time employee have dropped 35 per cent since 2011

In addition:

  • By the end of 2019 we had reduced the volume of total waste produced across our offices worldwide by 66 per cent since 2011
  • In June 2019, we supported the launch of a USD1.4 billion Chilean government green bond in Chile, the first green bond in South America
  • In 2019 we announced with Walmart the roll-out of a sustainable supply chain finance programme that pegs a supplier’s financing rate to its sustainability performance, as part of our commitment to help our customers transition to a low-carbon economy
  • Our employees completed more than 5,300 sustainability training modules in 2019, up 41 per cent from the year before

HSBC named best for sustainable finance

The bank has won recognition for its work to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.


Find out how we are working to meet our responsibilities to our customers, employees and the communities we serve.


Putting the customer at the centre of everything we do is a priority for HSBC. But we recognise we have further to go.

We want to provide products and services that our customers need and that fit seamlessly into their lives. We are investing in technology to enhance their banking experience and maintain our standards in fighting financial crime. In 2019, 89 per cent of our retail banking customers’ transactions were conducted via mobile or online channels.

We maintain trust by striving to protect customers’ data and information, and delivering fair outcomes for them. If things go wrong, we know we must address complaints in a timely manner. Operating with high standards of conduct is central to our long-term success and underpins our ability to serve our customers.

Key facts: customers

Fact: We surveyed more than 1 million retail banking customers to assess their satisfaction with our services
Fact: We resolved 77 per cent of retail banking complaints by the next working day in the UK in 2019 (excluding payment protection insurance complaints)
Fact: In the year to October 2019, more than 11 million text messages were sent to advise customers to make a deposit to avoid overdraft charges

In addition:

  • As part of our commitment to making banking faster, simpler and more secure, we were one of the first banks to roll out Face ID login around the world for global and institutional customers
  • More than 3 million of our retail banking customers have registered to use HSBC Voice ID
  • We have set 50 initiatives in progress to improve our services for our Commercial Banking customers
  • In 2019 we introduced measures allowing UK customers to block gambling transactions for 24 hours – part of our efforts to help customers manage their finances effectively

How technology is transforming corporate banking

Digital technology is changing how customers bank, trade and raise capital, says HSBC's Niall Cameron.


We want to create an environment at HSBC that allows everyone to fulfil their potential. This is why we prioritise our employees’ mental health, support their wellbeing and recognise the importance of being able to work flexibly. Our global sabbatical policy, for example, makes it easier for people to balance their work commitments with their personal lives. And, in 2019, we started providing mental health education to all managers at HSBC, helping them spot potential issues and point people towards the right support.

We want a diverse and inclusive workforce that values individuals and their contribution. This allows us to better represent our customers and the communities we serve. As part of this, we have a target to ensure at least 30 per cent of our senior roles are held by women. With 29.4 per cent of senior roles held by women at the end of 2019, we continue to make progress – but have further to go.

Key facts: employees

Fact: Seventy-four per cent of employees feel able to speak up when see behaviour they consider wrong, according to a staff survey
Fact: Sixty-four per cent of our employees said they work flexibly, a staff survey found
Fact: Our employees spent 6.5 million hours on training in 2019

We have also:

  • Invested in technology and infrastructure to make it easier for our employees to work flexibly
  • Been named Global Bank of the Year for Diversity and Inclusion at the TMI Treasury4Good Awards 2019
  • Launched a global programme to improve the experience for employees with disabilities, which included conducting accessibility reviews across multiple offices

Learn while you earn

How HSBC supports employees to improve their skills in a rapidly changing world.


We have a responsibility to invest in the long-term prosperity of the communities where we operate.

We recognise that technology is developing at a rapid pace and that a range of new and different skills are now needed to succeed in the workplace. For this reason, much of our focus is on programmes that develop employability and financial capability. We also back initiatives that support responsible business, and contribute to disaster relief efforts based on need.

In addition, we provide a variety of volunteering opportunities for our employees around the world.

2018 key facts: communities

Fact: 810,000 people are estimated to have benefited from HSBC-funded financial capability and employability programmes in 2019
Fact: Our employees spent 257,000 hours volunteering with community projects during the working day in 2019
Fact: We contributed USD101 million to charities and non-profit organisations running environmental and community projects in 2019

In addition:

  • The eight-year HSBC Programme, which concluded in 2019, has provided clean water to 1.7 million people and provided 2.7 million with better sanitation
  • We have helped more than 687,000 young people in 30 countries and territories to develop money management skills over the course of our 11-year partnership with Junior Achievement
  • We delivered more than 1,500 financial wellbeing seminars in the US, UK, Mexico, Singapore and Australia in 2019, reaching more than 30,000 people
  • In 2019 we launched a partnership with United for Global Mental Health (UGMH) to champion awareness of mental health in the workplace

HSBC launches mental health partnership

The bank has joined forces with a leading international organisation to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace.


We are committed to running our business in a way that upholds high standards of governance.

This includes working with our regulators to manage the safety of the financial system, and learning from past events to ensure they do not happen again.

We meet our responsibility to society through paying taxes and are transparent in our approach to it. We understand the role that businesses have to play in protecting human rights, and seek to ensure we respect international standards in our workplace and supply chains.

Furthermore, we recognise our wider obligations to society to increase financial inclusion and are carrying out a number of initiatives to help more people access financial services.

Key facts: governance

Fact: We paid USD5.6 billion in taxes, in 2019
Fact: We screen more than 689 million transactions each month for signs of money laundering and financial crime
Fact: Sustainability was discussed at 6 executive and non-executive committee meetings in 2019

In addition:

  • We have started testing an intelligence-led initiative that has proved better at detecting potential financial crime than existing industry-standard methods
  • We have set up the human rights steering committee to oversee the development of our approach to human rights
  • We expanded our ‘barrier-free banking’ programme in Hong Kong to make our branch and ATM networks more accessible
  • In the UK, we have provided more than 300 victims of human trafficking and modern slavery with bank accounts, and introduced bank accounts for people of no fixed address
  • We collected USD9.3 billion in taxes on behalf of governments in 2019
Optical fibers over a computer circuit board

Technology targets financial crime

A new system will make HSBC even more effective at managing the risk of crime, says Jennifer Shasky Calvery.

Note: this page was last updated on 18 February 2020 and reflects information available at that time.