HSBC starts to lay off AXA Singapore staff

SINGAPORE: More than 20 Axa Singapore employees have been told their roles have become redundant and will be terminated, The Straits Times (ST) has learnt.

The last day of their employment with HSBC, Axa Singapore’s parent company, will be Nov 30, the affected staff were informed.

ST understands the retrenchment exercise continued on Friday.

Many of those laid off would not speak on the record because they had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

ST understands that the affected employees were given three business days to consider the terms of the severance payment offered.

They also agreed not to pursue any legal proceedings or lodge any complaint with any authority in relation to the termination.

From now to November, they are encouraged to apply for other roles within the company or group.

Sources with knowledge of the layoffs told ST that employees were unhappy that they would need to apply for the roles and go through interviews and probation like any fresh applicant.

When contacted, a HSBC Life spokesman said: “A small number of roles will be impacted. Our priority is to support colleagues through reskilling and redeployment opportunities within the wider HSBC Group.

“We have announced plans to hire 5,000 wealth roles in Asia by 2025.”

AXA Singapore was acquired by HSBC Insurance, an indirectly owned subsidiary of the bank, for US$529mil (RM2.37bil). HSBC Life Singapore is the brand name for HSBC Insurance.

After the acquisition was completed in February, HSBC announced it would cease to offer AXA Singapore’s motor and general insurance businesses by the middle of this year.

For 2021, AXA Singapore was ranked second for motor insurance, after NTUC Income, with a gross premium of US$207mil (RM926mil), representing a market share of 17.79%, according to General Insurance Association industry statistics.

It was ranked fourth overall for all general insurance classes, with gross written premiums of US$392mil (RM1.75bil), for a total market share of 4.84%.

Industry observers were shocked by HSBC’s decision for AXA Singapore to exit the motor and general insurance business.

At a townhall held on Feb 28, HSBC Life Singapore chief executive Ho Lee Yen said it would take three to six months for HSBC to assess the impact on AXA employees and reassured them that the company would make an effort to reskill and redeploy staff within the HSBC group.

Since then, more than 10 employees with roles ranging from executives to directors have left the firm. — The Straits Times/ANN

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HSBC , Axa Singapore , retrenchment


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