HSBC says strike damage minimal


HSBC has denied union claims that any of its branches or call centres closed today during the first big banking strike in 40 years.

The strike was callaed amid union claims that 10% of staff at the bank will receive no pay rise this year and a further 45% will be given an increase below the rate of inflation.

Amicus warned of branch closures and interruptions to call centre services but HSBC said only 2.7% of its 55,000 staff went on strike – a total of 1,471 people.

However, the bank has made concessions.

Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC Bank, said: “We are sensitive to the concerns of a small number of colleagues and have decided to implement the proposals we tabled during ACAS talks, despite the union’s refusal to call off its strike.”

Geoghegan said the bank had modified its new bonus scheme, introducing an extra customer service measure that could raise or lower payments by 10%.

HSBC will make cash payments every December for the next three years to staff who have not received a salary increase for two years and who improve their customer service performance.

The bank has also broght the date of its 2006 pay award forward a month, effectively increasing the pay award by one twelfth.

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