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.

Environmental

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 June 2019 we had provided USD36.7 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 86KB).

Cumulative progress (USD billion) on sustainable financing

By the end of June 2019, we had achieved USD36.7 billion of our goal to provide and facilitate USD100 billion of sustainable financing and investment between 2017 and 2025.

Key facts: environmental

29
PER CENT
Fact: Twenty-nine per cent of our global electricity usage is covered by renewable power purchase agreements
#1
FOR SUSTAINABLE FINANCE
Fact: HSBC was named World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance 2019 by Euromoney magazine
30
PERCENT
Fact: HSBC’s carbon emissions per full-time employee have dropped 30 per cent since 2011

We have also:

  • Given sustainability training to 2,300 employees in 2018, up from 1,300 the year before
  • Opened our new HSBC UK headquarters, the first building in Birmingham to be built to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standard
  • Launched a programme with WWF to address the challenges related to the supply and demand for certified sustainable palm oil in Asia
  • Announced with Walmart the roll-out of a sustainable supply chain finance programme that pegs a supplier’s financing rate to its sustainability performance

HSBC named best for sustainable finance

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

Social

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

Customers

Putting the customer at the centre of everything we do is a priority for HSBC. But we recognise we have further to go, and it is a key focus for improvement in 2019.

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 2018, 80 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

2m
CUSTOMERS
Fact: We surveyed 2 million customers to assess their satisfaction with our services
77
PER CENT
Fact: We resolved 77 per cent of retail banking complaints by the next working day in 2018
>26m
ALERTS
Fact: More than 26 million messages were sent to warn customers they were approaching their overdraft limit

We have also:

  • Launched the Connected Money app in the UK, allowing users to see all their accounts and banking relationships in one place
  • Become one of the first banks to roll out Face ID login around the world for global and institutional customers
  • Carried out more than 100 initiatives to improve our service for Commercial Banking customers, following surveys of more than 18,000 customers in 40 markets

How technology is transforming corporate banking

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

Employees

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 will start 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 by 2020. With 28.2 per cent of senior roles held by women at the end of 2018, we continue to make progress – but have further to go.

Key facts: employees

74
PER CENT
Fact: Seventy-four per cent of employees feel able to speak up when see behaviour they consider wrong, according to a staff survey
49
PER CENT
Fact: Forty-nine of our employees said they work flexibly, a staff survey found
6.2m
HOURS
Fact: Our employees spent 6.2 million hours on training in 2018

We have also:

  • Held more than 75 events in HSBC offices to support World Mental Health Day in October 2018
  • 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

Learn while you earn

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

Communities

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

1.2m
PEOPLE
Fact: 1.2 million people are expected to benefit from financial capability and employability programmes funded by HSBC in 2018
850
FACILITIES
We aim to help improve the social and environmental impact of hundreds of textile and clothing facilities by the end of 2020
$105m
US DOLLARS
Fact: We contributed USD105 million to charities and non-profit organisations running community projects around the world in 2018

In addition:

  • Our employees spent 264,000 hours volunteering with community projects during the working day in 2018
  • In 2018, we delivered more than 1,000 financial wellbeing seminars in the US, UK, Mexico, Singapore and Australia, reaching more than 26,000 people
  • In 2019 we launched a partnership with United for Global Mental Health (UGMH) to champion awareness of mental health in the workplace

Women in the driving seat

An HSBC-backed initiative is training low-income women in Jaipur to become rickshaw drivers.

Governance

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

$7bn
US DOLLARS
Fact: We paid USD7 billion in taxes, in 2018
>658m
TRANSACTIONS
Fact: We screen more than 658 million transactions for signs of money laundering and financial crime
10
MEETINGS
Fact: Sustainability was discussed at 10 boarding meetings

We have also:

  • Completed the final elements of our Global Standards programme in 2018. This is designed to embed financial crime compliance in our day-to-day work
  • Developed a prototype of an intelligence-led initiative that has proved better at detecting potential financial crime than existing industry-standard methods
  • Set up the human rights steering committee to oversee the development of our approach to human rights
  • Improved digital accessibility in 10 of our retail banking markets in 2018, and made physical services more accessible by starting a ‘barrier-free banking’ programme in Hong Kong to upgrade our branch and ATM networks
  • Collected USD7.6 billion in taxes on behalf of governments in 2018
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.