Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Another Bonfire of the London Bankers; Canary Wharf-Based Hsbc to Axe 8,000 Jobs in New Cost-Cutting Drive Britain Bears the Brunt as HSBC Is Set to Cut 25,000 Jobs Worldwide

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Another Bonfire of the London Bankers; Canary Wharf-Based Hsbc to Axe 8,000 Jobs in New Cost-Cutting Drive Britain Bears the Brunt as HSBC Is Set to Cut 25,000 Jobs Worldwide

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn and Nick Goodway

THOUSANDS of London bankers were facing the sack today after HSBC said it would axe up to a sixth of its British workforce in a massive global cost-cutting offensive.

Today the Canary Wharf-based financial giant revealed plans to cut as many as 8,000 jobs in Britain by 2017 to help boost its profits.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver did not reveal exactly where the axe would fall, but it seems unavoidable that many job losses will be among highly paid London-based staff. In his statement, Mr Gulliver said: "We recognise the world has changed and we need to change with it."

It has already been confirmed that the HQ of HSBC's high-street bank network will move to Birmingham within four years, with 1,000 Continued on Page 4 Continued from Page 1 employees having to relocate. The company, which has been caught up in a series of scandals since the financial crash, will also decide by the end of this year whether or not to keep its global HQ in London.

Mr Gulliver whose personal tax affairs came under fire from MPs earlier this year is believed to favour a return to Hong Kong, where the bank was based for more than 100 years until the early Nineties, or even Singapore.

In total, up to 25,000 jobs will go around the world, but the toll will be most brutal in Britain, where HSBC employs 47,500 people.

The bank also raised the prospect of major branch closures in Britain, with a target of a 12 per cent cut in branch numbers across its top seven national markets. It operates about 1,050 UK branches, with 20 closures already due this year and 20 more in the pipeline.

Unions condemned the announcements, claiming rank-and-file workers were having to pay for the blunders and wrongdoing of senior management.

Dominic Hook, national officer for finance at the Unite union, said: "Unite is seeking to meet [HSBC's] UK chief executive Antonio Simoes as soon as possible to demand that any redundancies are through voluntary means or managed through natural attrition. …

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