HSBC fires UK staff over mock execution video

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 07, 2015 6:41 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC has fired UK staff who filmed themselves staging a mock Islamic State-style beheading of a colleague and posted the video online, it said on Tuesday.

The employees were on a team building exercise in Birmingham, central England, when they made the film. The short video, obtained by The Sun newspaper, showed six staff.

HSBC declined to say how many employees had been dismissed.

"This is an abhorrent video and HSBC would like to apologize for any offense caused," a spokeswoman said.

The video shows five people 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 the video was posted on Instagram and later deleted.

It 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 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 behavior our aim is that all of our employees and customers can be proud of our business."

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Mark Potter)