Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Diversity, Employees, Governance, Sustainable Investment

Top Stories

March 16, 2018

Gender Pay Gap

HSBC to reveal 59 percent gender pay gap, largest amongst British banks

HSBC is to reveal a gender pay gap of 59 percent at its main UK banking operation, the biggest yet disclosed by a British bank. The bank will also disclose a mean gender bonus gap of 86 percent at HSBC Bank Plc, which is the biggest of the lender’s seven entities in Britain and employs 23,507 people. The gender pay gap is the biggest yet reported by a British financial firm, according to government data, with some firms yet to provide figures ahead of the April deadline. In common with other banks, HSBC said its pay gap was largely accounted for by the bank having fewer women in senior roles. HSBC said women held only 23 percent of senior leadership positions in its workforce in Britain, despite accounting for more than half of total staff. (Reuters)

Read more: Check out Charlotte Slaven’s blog, outlining the results of Corporate Citizenship’s research on the gender pay gap.

Corporate Reputation

Uber accused of silencing women who claim sexual assault by drivers

Uber is trying to force women who say they were sexually assaulted by drivers to resolve their claims behind closed doors rather than in the courts, a move that critics say silences victims and shields the company from public scrutiny. Court records in a California class-action lawsuit revealed that the ride-sharing firm has argued that female passengers who speak up about being raped in an Uber, must individually settle their cases through arbitration, a private process that often results in confidentiality agreements. “Our clients deserve a trial,” said Jeanne M Christensen, one of the class-action attorneys who filed a motion fighting Uber’s attempts to push the women into arbitration. “The goal is to force Uber to acknowledge that this is happening and to do something about it.” (Guardian)


Former executive claims Walmart overstated sales

A former Walmart executive has accused the world’s largest retailer of overstating sales to show “meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible” as it battles with Amazon, according to an associated lawsuit. Tri Huynh, a former director of business development at the company, alleges Walmart “sacrificed and betrayed its founder’s key principles of integrity and honesty, pushing those core values aside in its rush to win the ecommerce war at all costs”. Mr Huynh is suing the retailer for firing him after he complained about the alleged practices. Walmart responded that they intend to defend the company against these claims: “We take allegations like this seriously and looked into them when they were brought to our attention. The investigation found nothing to suggest that the company acted improperly.” (Financial Times*)

Corporate Governance

China’s ICBC ordered to boost money-laundering safeguards

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s biggest lender, has been ordered by the US Federal Reserve to bolster its protections against money laundering. The Fed found “significant deficiencies” in safeguards at the Chinese bank’s New York branch, the US regulator has said. The company agreed to submit plans to fix its compliance programs within the 60 days and no financial penalties have been imposed. ICBC failed to properly report suspicious activity and comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, the US law meant to combat money laundering. The Fed ordered the bank to establish a system that properly assesses risks associated with products and customers. The company must also hire an outside firm to review its dollar-clearing activity in the latter half of 2016 “to determine whether suspicious activity involving high-risk customers or transactions” was properly flagged. (Bloomberg)

Sustainable Investment

Siemens signs deal to help unlock renewables growth in Brazil

Siemens has signed a deal with Brazilian trade agency Apex-Brasil to support growth in key sectors of the Brazilian economy, including green energy. The Brazilian arm of Siemens and Apex claim that the Memorandum of Understanding will address “bottlenecks” in Brazilian infrastructure to drive sustainable growth worth up to 3.1 percent of GDP over the next five years. Siemens has also promised to triple its own planned investment in Brazil to €1 billion over the same period. “Our assessment is that, if the proposed measures are implemented, our €1bn investment will play a multiplier effect,” said André Clark, CEO of Siemens Brazil. “As they will be directed to key strategic areas, it could play a part as one important catalyst in attracting up to €50bn of investments all over the country from other investors, generating up to 1.2 million jobs over the next five years.” (BusinessGreen)


*Subscription required

Image Source: [2006] Christ the Redeemer by Diego Torres Silvestre on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.