When HSBC decided to do away with commissions in 2013 and pay its financial advisors a fixed salary and discretionary bonus, industry pundits presaged a mass exodus of advisors from the bank channel into more lucrative areas of the financial services industry. While that hasn’t happened, there is a growing sentiment that the salary compensation model could become the norm for bank advisors. That has spooked the industry, especially those for whom the mere idea of a set salary is anathema.

Many were convinced that the talent drain that would supposedly result from clipping advisors’ compensation wings would affect HSBC. Indeed, some in the industry say the bank has lost its top advisor talent. HSBC declined to make an executive available for comment.

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