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Reflections on current events

Michael Roberts' message to HSBC USA employees


July 27, 2020

Colleagues –

Recent events impacting the Black/African American community have spurred a renewed sense of urgency to provide real solutions that are meaningful and impactful. Today, you will have seen a note from Group CEO Noel Quinn, which outlines our approach to help HSBC become a more inclusive company. I’m proud to say that in the US, we will support and contribute to those actions in a way that fits the unique situation in our market.

Locally, we’ve spent the last few weeks engaging as many of you as possible. In addition to meeting directly with teams and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), I’m particularly pleased to see that you’ve raised your hands to offer ideas, convened meetings and even contacted your leadership with proposed solutions and advice. This is a great example of how challenges can be approached from all corners of our organization.

Based on what we heard from many of you, the US leadership team has agreed to a set of six areas where we believe HSBC USA can improve inclusion for the Black/African American community. While we were driven to outline this framework following the recent injustices toward the Black/African American community, these pillars will encompass all under-represented and diverse groups.  

We have a lot of work to do, and change will not happen overnight but this is an important first step on our journey and we will remain committed to reporting back on our progress, actions and next steps. I appreciate the overwhelming support our employees have demonstrated around this effort. My ask of you now is to continue to channel your energy and enthusiasm to make positive change.


Michael Roberts

President and CEO, HSBC USA


Our Commitment: In the newly created role of US Head of Inclusion and Culture, Ralph Jardine will build upon the foundation of our efforts in diversity and inclusion over the years and will expand beyond that to reach our customers and communities that we serve. He will bring transformational ideas and initiatives that will help us make quicker progress in advancing opportunities for our employees, expanding our customer demographic and investing in the communities that need our support the most.



Our Commitment: We will increase the pipeline of diverse candidates, specifically focusing on those ethnicities with the lowest representations.

First steps:

  • Strengthen partnerships with diverse organizations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and third parties specializing in diversity candidates
  • Provide managers with a recommended diverse candidate slate for open roles instead of giving managers the option to request a diverse slate or not



Our Commitment: We will improve representation across diversity groups, particularly at our top levels. We are working to create specific goals, which will be published once they are finalized.

First steps:

  • Conduct a thorough review of data across the Talent Management Cycle to identify where we have the greatest opportunities for improvement and establish clear actions to improve each pillar
  • Improve the promotion process by: 

o Instituting accountability metrics for executives

o Establishing robust criteria for promotions and training managers on the promotion process to ensure objectivity is maintained at all times

o Explaining to final round candidates who were not selected for a role/promotion why they were not selected, and what they can do to improve their chances in the future   


Advancing the Conversation

Our Commitment: We will encourage and actively facilitate dialogue about inclusion and equality, including difficult conversations about race.

First steps:

  • Identify and implement a leader-led inclusion program to encourage meaningful dialogue about racial equality
  • ERGs will work with business lines and HR to host ongoing workshops, panel discussions and open forums on diversity


Strategic Giving

Our Commitment: We will target strategic giving to support equality-focused and diverse organizations and initiatives.

First steps:

  • Continue to allocate philanthropic funding to support an innovative equality initiative to complement our existing non-profit partnerships with organizations that focus on underserved communities
  • Increase awareness of the HSBC matching gift program, which can be used to support organizations dedicated to equality


Who We Do Business With 

Our Commitment: We will accelerate our commitment to improving representation of minority-owned companies among HSBC’s vendors.

First steps:

Enhance our third-party diversity program and task it with evaluating and building better representation of minority-owned companies among HSBC’s vendors

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