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HSBC Banker’s Portrait of Racism Inside Firm Prompts Probe

  • An employee quietly interviewed peers about their experiences
  • Then he sent a scathing report to the bank’s senior management
HSBC Holdings Plc Headquarters And Branches As Banks Seeks To Stop Slump In Revenue
Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg
Updated on

The uncomfortable conversations began the moment the 48-page report landed in senior managers’ inboxes at HSBC Holdings Plc last month. Soon, attention turned to the unlikely author who was emailing it.

A junior manager had invited more than 100 colleagues to talk with him about diversity and racism at the firm and then distilled their responses into a Wall Street-style presentation. It opens with a poem he wrote about hoping for change, before laying out his scathing conclusion: The bank is unlikely to meet its diversity goals because of discrimination and racism in the workplace, which is prompting recruits to leave.