Union: HSBC ‘No Retrenchments’ Claim a Lie

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HSBC Bank is lying about there not being a retrenchment exercise following its decision to outsource functions to foreign and local vendors, said the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE).

The union, in a statement, said HSBC is making the retrenchment move look like a voluntary separation scheme (VSS).

“The bank ‘cleverly’ claimed that it was not carrying out a retrenchment exercise, but attempted to camouflage it as VSS.”

It said some 200 Malaysians could be laid off.

In a statement yesterday, HSBC said: “Impacted employees who decide not to apply for VSS will be provided with alternative employment options.”

NUBE, however, said the bank sent a memo to employees stating that those who decide to stay on may be subjected to redeployment, relocation and redundancy.

“This is a clear move by the bank to ‘box’ these workers into a corner, where they can be easily laid off at a later time.

“We are puzzled as to why the Human Resources Ministry is not investigating the matter or enquiring with us before it gives approval for the lay-offs.”

The memo also said HSBC staff who do not sign up for VSS risk losing their jobs eventually, said the union.

“As such, HSBC has deliberately misled the media and public by claiming there will not be any job losses in its move to outsource its functions and carry out VSS.

“The fact is, about 200 positions will be abolished, and those who do not take VSS will be redeployed and risk being laid off, eventually.”

The bank’s statement yesterday said the strategy behind the “migration and shifting of services” was decided by its senior management.

“It is important to note that as part of our migration process, no retrenchments will be carried out.”

Defending the move, HSBC said its business and function lines constantly re-evaluate their needs to ensure they have “the right roles in the right locations to deliver for our customers and stakeholders”.

“This decision was not taken lightly and was carefully considered at a senior level.”

It said many roles will be shifted to Global Service Centre Malaysia, one of the country’s largest financial shared services institutions.

The bank stressed its commitment to the nation, citing its US$250 million (RM1 billion) investment for the construction of its new Malaysian headquarters at TRX City. – TMI