HSBC Reveals Less Than 1% of U.K. Senior Employees Are Black


HSBC Holdings Plc published a breakdown of ethnicity in its U.K. staff for the first time, revealing that less than 1% of senior employees in its home market are Black.

The figure compares with 3% of the population of England and Wales. Among other senior employees, 9.7% are Asian, compared with 8% of the population of England and Wales, and 1.3% are mixed-race, HSBC said in a memo released Wednesday. The data is based on self-declarations in a staff survey at the end of September.

“The data shows that we have a lot of work to do,” said Elaine Arden, the bank’s chief human resources officer. “Publishing the data is just one of the steps we are taking to address the challenges we face in creating a more diverse and inclusive organization.”

British banks have come under pressure to release such figures as the Black Lives Matter movement and protests spread from the U.S. to the U.K. this year. HSBC pledged earlier this year to double the number of Black staff across its upper ranks.

Diversity Deficit

Black employees make up less than 1% of HSBC's senior U.K. ranks

Source: HSBC

Note: All figures are percentages

Lloyds Banking Group Plc disclosed in July that 1.5% of its total workforce and 0.6% of its senior management are Black. NatWest Group Plc is aiming to boost Black representation in senior U.K. management positions to 3% from 1% currently by 2025, it said this month.

HSBC said that it is reviewing recruitment and career development to help improve diversity. Other steps include creating an Ethnicity Steering Committee to oversee such efforts.

The U.K.-headquartered bank also disclosed that just 1% of its interns are Black. Earlier this week a campaign to offer paid work experience to 10,000 black graduate interns across British industries was backed by companies including Credit Suisse Group AG.