The banking group vowed that “our purpose is opening up a world of opportunity. That means celebrating our differences and building a culture where everyone feels included, valued, and respected”. HSBC has now announced that it will pay for its staff members to have gender re-assignment treatments.
The announcement of its “gender dysmorphia benefit” was made in an internal memo which was sent to staff by the bank’s UK Pride team.
Gender dysmorphia is outlined by the bank “as a person who doesn’t align with their biological sex and is a recognised medical condition”.
It detailed plans from the bank that from the beginning of 2023, HSBC will pay for staff diagnosis, mental health treatments, hormone consultation, speech therapy, hair removal, and surgery for staff members.
The benefits will also extend to close relatives of staff members, as partners and children who are under 21 can apply to have their treatment paid for by the bank with exclusions for some under-18s treatment.
The bank said: “By providing access to gender affirmation treatment, we hope that our trans and non-binary colleagues and their dependants are able to be their authentic self.”
NatWest bank already declared in the late summer that it would fund privately funded hormone treatment for its transgender staff.
HSBC also announced in July that it would no longer collage data on the gender identification of its customers in order to be more inclusive.
Meanwhile, in June, Halifax Bank tweeted a picture of a staff member’s identification badge with their name and their chosen pronouns written below.
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With such a drive for inclusion the bank along with others has been criticised for “ignoring disabled people”.
In response to a comment from a Twitter user who said: “If you’re ignoring disabled people, 25 percent of the population in your diversity program, your ‘diversity’ is a sham.”
Twitter user @michelewallis replied: “@HSBC_UK @natwestgroup @lloydsbank policies and targets for #womeninbanking #inclusion #gender and #ethnicity but no disability employee targets – why?”
This year, HSBC UK became a Disability Confident Employer as part of the Department for Work and Pensions Disability Confident Scheme after announcing “our goal is to ensure the whole bank is Disability Confident Status by May 2022”.