Misselling of Investment Advice by HSBC

HSBC’s final year results for 2013 reveal its bill for investment advice mis-selling in the UK, uncovered as part of a regulatory mystery shopping exercise that targeted a total of six banks, is set to reach £96m. The results, published reveal HSBC Bank plc, the holding company for HSBC’s European operations, has set aside £96m to cover estimates for compensation related to mis-selling of wealth management products to UK consumers. HSBC states that the investment advice redress programme is “at an early stage” and there remains a “high degree of uncertainty” as to the eventual costs of redress for this and for all mis-selling compensation. As part of its mystery shopper exercise, the regulator reviewed practices at six major retail banks between March and September 2012. It found 25 per cent of investment advice given by banks and building societies across 231 mystery shops was of questionable quality. In 15 per cent of cases the adviser did not gather enough information to ensure advice was suitable; in 11 per cent unsuitable advice was confirmed as having been given.

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