HSBC staff axed over mock beheading video

ATMs outside a HSBC bank branch in London.
ATMs outside a HSBC bank branch in London.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • HSBC has fired British staff members who filmed themselves staging a mock Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-style beheading of a colleague and posted the video online.

The employees were on a team-building exercise in Birmingham, central England, when they made the short video.

The video was subsequently obtained by The Sun newspaper.

It showed six employees, but HSBC declined to say how many people had been dismissed.

"This is an abhorrent video and HSBC would like to apologise for any offence caused," a spokesman said yesterday.

The bank said in a statement: "We do not tolerate inappropriate behaviour."

The video shows five people dressed in black jumpsuits and balaclavas pretending to behead another man who is kneeling in an orange jumpsuit.

They use a coat hanger as a pretend knife. The Sun said that the video was posted on Instagram and later deleted.

The video adds to a string of conduct problems at HSBC and other banks.

The industry is trying to rebuild its reputation after scandals ranging from the rigging of interest rates and currency markets to the mis-selling of insurance products.

On the "Our Values" page of its website, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver says: "By setting the highest standards of behaviour, our aim is that all of our employees and customers can be proud of our business."

REUTERS , BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2015, with the headline 'HSBC staff axed over mock beheading video'. Print Edition | Subscribe