Case Study

HSBC: Universal Banker

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

With these bootcamps we made the impossible, possible.

Sandy SahotaArea Director, HSBC Retail Banking

In 2017, HSBC launched a UK-wide initiative to introduce a new role: the Universal Banker. Along with our partner organisation, Freeformers, Abracademy developed and delivered a bespoke programme for the bank. We took their 4,000+ customer-facing staff on a journey of change. The aim was to create an aligned and digitally-literate workforce of the future. Our programme was designed to help the employees embrace the new role with confidence.

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 helped participants cultivate a Belief Mindset. This is a mindset based on self-confidence. It enables people to view as possible what previously seemed impossible. We challenged the fears that go with change and provided tools to use back at work. This unlocked confidence and people were able to believe they could be digital advocates, the skill at the core of the Universal Banker role.

Learning outcomes
  • In the post-programme survey, participants reported feeling significantly more positive.
  • Empowerment, hope, inspiration and knowledge emerged as strong themes.
  • People were able to articulate the key learnings from the programme.
  • Participants were also able to relate the key skills from the programme to the new role.



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


Believers unleashed!


Opt-in rate achieved for the Universal Banker 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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