The bank is close to rolling out a formal mobility programme that will enable its junior bankers to move desks every six months, a HSBC spokesman confirmed.
The programme is being introduced to appeal to the millennial generation – those born between 1980 and 2000 – who “want a broader range of experience” from their careers, the spokesman said, adding that “the best performing directors also tend to have a variety of experience”.
Robin Phillips, co-head of global banking at HSBC, told FN that the programme is aimed at developing “well-rounded, universal bankers” as well as appealing to those who want to move around.
“Competition for junior talent is fierce,” he said, adding that giving people the chance to work on a corporate M&A deal one quarter and an RMB sovereign debt issue the next would benefit the bank.
In its push to encourage more movement among junior bankers, HSBC has also brought in a ‘pooling’ scheme in London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong that will allow juniors to try their hands at something different.
Those in London covering either corporates, the public sector or financial institutions all sit in the same pool, meaning they can move between any of those teams. In Hong Kong, junior bankers covering corporates, financial institutions, public sector, advisory, equity capital markets, leveraged and acquisition finance and sponsors can do the same.
Banks have been trying to spruce up their image in a bid to stop overworked or uninspired bankers from moving into other financial sectors such as private equity and asset management, or even into roles in the tech or corporate worlds.
Morgan Stanley recently said it would allow vice-presidents a four-week sabbatical, while Credit Suisse is testing a “Friday nights off” rule for those in Europe following feedback from its analyst and associate committee. Most banks now have guidelines around weekend work for junior bankers.
However, investment bankers told FN in June that many of these banks were missing the big issues that make the sector a “toxic environment” for them.