Sarawak Bank Employees Union and HSBC employees protesting in front of the bank branch in Bintulu June 26, 2014.

Bintulu branch of HSBC Bank employees and Sarawak Bank Employee’s Union (SBEU) held a peaceful protest to express their dissatisfaction against the bank in front of the bank branch at Jalan Law Gek Soon yesterday.

HSBC Bank is in the midst of exiting the commercial banking business in Sarawak, a decision that would leave more than 150 of its local employees likely to be retrenched.

The international bank, one of the world’s largest banking giants, headquarters in London is being pressured by international non-governmental organisations for allegedly having ties with logging companies that contradicts with the bank’s own business philosophy.

HSBC said it would close down its commercial business in Sarawak “over one to three years” but will maintain its consumer wealth management business in the state.

SBEU president Hadiah Leen on January said the protests were held following the bank failure to meet their demands to increase the quantum of its voluntary separation scheme (VSS) from 1.4 to at least 2.0 and for the VSS to be open to both retail and commercial banking staffs.

SBEU contends that the present quantum offered is below par, and that by limiting the VSS to employees in commercial banking, HSBC is pressuring and coercing its employees to apply for the VSS by threatening them with transfers outside the state or retrenchment.

The union had planned to protests at various locations throughout the state and at Putrajaya.

Thank Amanda Aldama for the pics.