HSBC Malaysia to wait until local legal process concludes

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BLOOMBERG

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd said it would wait until the local legal and judicial processes are concluded before looking into separate mediation processes.

The bank noted that some issues presented to the UK National Contact Point (UK NCP) are currently under review by the Malaysian courts and the Ministry of Human Resources, and HSBC will continue to be bound by the applicable legal and legislative process.

“We take these matters very seriously. As such, we feel it is appropriate — and in the best interests of all parties — to conclude existing Malaysia-based mediation and judicial review before embarking on further and separate mediation,” it said in a statement to The Malaysian Reserve yesterday.

Earlier this week, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) said the UK NCP had decided to accept some of its complaints against HSBC Malaysia.

UK NCP is an agency responsible for promoting Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises on responsible business conduct and operating complaints mechanism set out in the guidelines.

Following its initial assessment process, the UK NCP stated that it had decided to partially accept the complaint from NUBE and UNI Global Union about HSBC Malaysia’s unfair conducts towards bank workers.

The agency said it has decided that some of the issues raised by the complainant merit further examination.

“This initial assessment decision is made based on the information supplied by the parties. The decision to partially accept the complaint is not a finding against HSBC Malaysia and does not mean that the UK NCP considers the company has acted inconsistently with the guidelines,” the agency published on its website.

The UK NCP added that it would formally ask the parties involved whether they would be willing to engage in mediation to resolve the issues raised.

“If these meetings achieve a resolution, the UK NCP will reflect this in a final statement without making a determination on whether the enterprise acted consistently with the guidelines.

“But if a mediated/conciliated solution is not possible, the UK NCP will conduct a further examination into the issues and will reflect the outcome in a final statement that will include a determination on whether HSBC Malaysia acted consistently with the OECD guidelines,” it noted.

HSBC Malaysia has reiterated once again that Malaysia is a priority growth market for the bank and it would continue to invest in people, technology and premises.

The bank said the changes it is making includes creating new roles and changing current ones.

It added that the changes would create more than 200 roles and it was still redeploying employees to take up the new positions.

“We are actively redeploying our people into new roles and, where this is not possible, HSBC offers above-market voluntary separation schemes, further job transition training and outplacement support,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Union Network International-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC) welcomed the initial assessment of the OECD UK NCP which decided to accept complaints filed by the NUBE with the support of the UNI Global Union.

Its president Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal said in UNI-MLC’s view, the initial assessment of the UK NCP which found some of the complaints made by NUBE and UNI Global Union to be valid, and indicates there are some employers in Malaysia do not respect labour laws and the rights as well as welfare of workers.

He added that the initial assessment also showed that complaints made by the union were serious and deserved attention by HSBC.

“HSBC Malaysia should not take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic for the company’s own benefit. UNI-MLC hopes that HSBC management will immediately take constructive steps, namely returning to the negotiating table to hold discussions with NUBE to find a solution to the issues raised,” he noted in a statement yesterday.