HSBC boss: banking sector must do business in right way

HSBC group chairman Stephen Green has called on the banking industry to recover a sense of what is right and suitable as a key impulse for doing business.

HSBC group chairman Stephen Green has called on the banking industry to “recover a sense of what is right and suitable as a key impulse for doing business”.

His plea came this morning (March 2) as Europe’s biggest bank reported its 2008 full year pre-tax profit slipped 18% compared to 2007, to £13.9bn ($19.9bn).

Green (pictured) called for an end to a culture which has seen “inappropriate products sold inappropriately by many.”

Despite his company’s decision to largely stay away from investments that has since brought competitors down Green announced that he and the rest of the board is to forego cash bonuses this year.

As well as investment decisions, Green attributed his bank’s relative survival of the global financial crisis so far in part to the companies “brand strength.”

The bank announced last month the sudden resignation of its UK marketing director James Boulton, who it was understood did not have a job to go to.

As a replacement is sought, Boulton’s responsibilities have been shared between UK head of marketing Philip Mehl, Mark Mullen, head of marketing at telephone and online bank First Direct and M&S Money marketing head Amanda Newman.

Boulton was appointed in 2005 and was responsible for the HSBC, First Direct and M&S Money brands. He was poached from rival HBOS where he was head of customer and brand strategy.

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