HSBC is preparing to open the headquarters of its new ring-fenced bank, HSBC UK, in Birmingham in 2018. This is a major investment for HSBC and is the largest property deal in Birmingham for more than a decade. As part of the relocation process, they have been forging closer links with universities and other important stakeholders in the Midlands.

Future talent pipeline

HSBC supports student employability by providing expertise, advice and guidance on topics such as ‘careers in banking’ as well as running events aimed at helping more women consider and develop their careers in banking. HSBC has a strong presence at careers fairs at universities such as Aston, Birmingham, Coventry, Newman and Warwick allows HSBC to work with students from a range of mission group universities, through networking sessions and strength-based recruitment presentations.

But it’s not all talk; this year HSBC has worked with Aston University to introduce ‘A Year in Industry’, a programme offering students an intensive banking experience. The first two student participants have now been recruited and started their placements with HSBC in Birmingham in January. If successful, the bank aims to expand the partnership to more universities in the Midlands and potentially nationwide.

HSBC has also collaborated with Aston University to help develop its MSc in Financial Regulation and Compliance. In addition, the bank has created a number of employability modules to encourage students to engage in self-reflection as well as providing practical advice to help graduates prepare for the future world of work. HSBC’s internship and graduate programmes have seen 75 candidates from the Midlands attend assessment centres this year alone.

Financial wellbeing

It’s important that students have the insight and education they need to help them plan for significant life stages. HSBC works with universities to offer a Financial Wellbeing Programme, supporting students by developing knowledge such as; how a bank account works, budgeting, understanding credit and keeping finances safe, along with hints, tips and best practices to prepare them financially for what lies ahead.

HSBC also offers employees and students the opportunity to undertake a financial ‘health check’ with a specialist so that individuals can ask questions and seek guidance in a confidential environment on all aspects of their financial situation. Where appropriate, HSBC will also help ensure that the appropriate solution or specialist support is provided.

The importance of relationships

At HSBC, relationships are important. The Birmingham move is a real opportunity to build lasting relationships that benefit not only the bank, its customers and its partner universities, but the wider community and the entire region.

HSBC’s ambition is to find new ways to boost economic growth by supporting the supply of a diverse, talented graduate pool to local businesses.

Through these and other activities, HSBC hopes to support further work by Midlands’ universities this year – in particular, working to close the skills gap and support the Government’s Industrial Strategy.


This article first appeared in the 2018 State of the Relationship report, commissioned by Research England and compiled and published by NCUB.