Case Study

HSBC: Universal banker

Helping HSBC’s customer-facing workforce embrace a new role as digital advocates with confidence.

With these bootcamps we made the impossible, possible.

Sandy SahotaArea director hsbc retail banking

In 2017, HSBC initiated a UK-wide innovation program to introduce a new role: the Universal Banker. Abracademy were asked (with partner, Freeformers) to prototype, develop and deliver a program taking the bank’s 3,000+ customer-facing staff on a transformational journey of change. The aim was to help employees embrace technology in banking and the new role with a positive mindset, creating an aligned and digitally-literate workforce of the future.

How the magic happened

The magician is a wise joker that misdirects for a purpose: to loosen your creativity and make you forget about your limiting belief systems

Combining magic and facilitation into meaningful play, we guide participants through a series of workshops to cultivate a Belief Mindset – one which enables them to view as possible, what previously seemed impossible. We challenge the fears that accompany change, driving the mindset shift and equipping participants with the confidence, and tools they need to embrace the Universal Banker role.

Learning outcomes

In post workshop surveys, participants reported feeling significantly more positive themes of empowerment, hope, inspiration and knowledge strongly with emerging

Participants were able to articulate key skills and learnings as well as directly relate the programme to the Universal Banker role



Net Promoter Score measures customer satisfaction on a scale of -100 to 100


believers unleashed


Opt-in rate for new job role

During the 3 days, they engaged, entertained and educated an audience of people who, initially dubious, are now fully informed to make a choice on their next move. Their energy never faltered and they maintained a level of focus from delegates that I have rarely seen... they are amongst the best facilitators I have witnessed in 25 years of working at HSBC. I would jump at the chance of working alongside them again.

HSBC Area Director

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