Mystery surrounds identity of HSBC ‘legal team’ involved in mock-execution video

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By Jonathan Ames on

Bank refuses to clarify status staff sacked for recreating an Isis-style beheading — but press reports claimed they had a legal function


One of the world’s biggest banks has refused to clarify this afternoon whether any of its lawyers were involved in a joke that backfired spectacularly.

HSBC confirmed that it had sacked six staff after a video had been released of them enacting a mock Islamic terrorism-style execution at a Birmingham go-karting track.

Newspaper reports said the men were with the bank’s legal department at its regional headquarters in Birmingham.

However, a bank spokeswoman declined to respond to a Legal Cheek request that HSBC clarify whether the dismissed six were indeed employed in the legal team — as reported initially by The Sun newspaper — and whether they were lawyers.

The spokeswoman would say only:

We do not tolerate inappropriate behaviour. As soon as The Sun brought this video to our attention we took the decision to sack the individuals involved. This is an abhorrent video and HSBC would like to apologise for any offence caused.

The video was reportedly shot at a staff team-building day at Teamworks Karting in the Digbeth area of Birmingham.

Five of the six men were kitted out in black jumpsuits, while one of the team was allocated an orange outfit. This clearly put the chaps in mind of several recent execution videos promulgated by the vicious fundamentalist Islamic group, Isis.

They then videoed a scene in which the six black-jumpsuited men simulated the beheading of their orange jumpsuited colleague in which they wielded a coat hanger instead of a knife.

Managers at the karting track weren’t exactly chuffed with the performance.

Teamworks’ founding director Simone Schehtman told the Birmingham Mail newspaper:

The abhorrent video was filmed without any of our staff’s knowledge, when the perpetrators decided to hide in the changing rooms, during a private party booked by one of our corporate clients and we would not wish this to reflect negatively on Teamworks Karting. We have complained to HSBC and understand the individuals involved have since been dismissed.