HSBC follows Barclays’ lead in diversity stakes

HSBC is likely to require details of firms’ diversity policies in its upcoming panel review, head of group general counsel Richard Bennett has revealed.

The bank, which does not have a set timeframe for when the reviews will take place, has highlighted diversity as an important factor for it to consider in its next review.

Bennett said: “We had our last review three years ago, so we’ll be having the next soon. This review will be different from the last and we’re likely to incorporate diversity into the information we request from firms.”

Bennett’s comments come after Barclays announced the end of its panel review two weeks ago (6 July). Chief operating officer of legal compliance at Barclays Richard Daniel told The Lawyer how important information on diversity is to deciding which firms will secure places on the panel.

Daniel said: “We take it very seriously. Barclays has worked very hard to create a diversity policy for its global operations. We want to know firms we’re instructing take this as seriously as us.”

Earlier this year (21 May) The Lawyer reported on JPMorgan’s inclusion of diversity as a criteria for UK firms for the first time in its panel review.

Bennett said: “There are a lot of factors that are considered during a panel review.

“You have to make sure you’re covering all of the critical areas.”