From Buffalo, NY — 02/15/2009
I have now worked for HSBC as a Customer Service Representative (CSR for short, really a bank teller) for about a year. Coming into the job I had heard alot of negative things about the job, and they turned out to be mostly false.
I am not a disgruntled worked, and I do not plan on staying with the company forever, I have no incentive or reason to exaggerate about the job and my experience.
Probably the worst thing about HSBC, as is true with all banks is that one mistake can cost you your career. For example as a teller, if you accidentally give a customer a couple hundred too much money, you are likely fired, if you cause a loss (by not verifying someone ID, making a mistake, or causing the bank to get fined) you are held accountable. There are plenty of mistakes that are very easy to make, and not everyone can catch them. If you are one who isn't vigilant, you won't do well at all. There are alot of verifications that you need to make for something as simple as cashing a check. If you are smart, you can pull it off easily.
Alot of people seem to complain about the need to "sell sell sell." It's true, your job is contingent on you being able to get people to open new accounts, add to their existing deposits, or upgrade their accounts. If you can't sell, you won't do well. The role of the teller isn't limited to transactions, you have hard goals to meet - the good news you can easily make $75 a month in commissions, the bad, if you don't make your goals consistently, you will be on the chopping block in no time. It's not for everyone - if you can't sell or you can't take the pressure to ensure that you aren't causing losses, don't even bother apply.
It doesn't bother me, I love my job!
Pay - The starting wage where I live (Buffalo suburbs, relatively low cost of living) is $11.50/hr for full time or part time. As a part time college student this is far more than I could make elsewhere, most of my peers make $8-10/hr.
Respect - I can't say much here, I have never had a problem, my superiors are very nice as are my co-workers.
Benefits - Health insurance coverage isn't very good, but for a student like me the perks are amazing. They offer tuition reimbursement after 1 year of work, if you work full time they pay 100% of the tuition up to ~$5000, part time they cover 75%. Their 401K plan is amazing; they contribute 6% of your total paycheck so long as you deduction 4%; the matching contribution only kicks in after a year of work.
Job security - Not great. As I explained above, you can get fired at any time - but not without just cause.
Work/Life balance - Probably where they are the worst. It is bankers' hours of course, so no nights or weekends, but you do need to be very available; if I worked full time it would be OK, but given that I work part time, it kind of stinks that I can very rarely get 3 straight days off.
Career potential - It's a bank, I'm on the bottom, I can only go up. However, it see few people make it very high up, but there are few people high up, so it makes sense. If you are good, you can make a good living and get some good promotions on the way.
Location - I work 3 minutes drive from work, and there are HSBC branches everywhere in Buffalo. I had to train about a 40 minute drive away, so I will only give it a 3, since you will sometimes be required to make short work-related trips.
Co-worker competence - Its kind of the law of natural selection since incompetent people get fired. My co-workers are generally quite smart and knowledgeable.
Work environment - It gets stressful from time to time, but I enjoy what I do I can't complain at all.