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HSBC to lay off 840 IT jobs in UK

BBR Staff Writer Published 17 May 2016

HSBC has started laying off 840 IT jobs in the UK, as part of its restructuring plan which will cut 8,000 jobs by the end of 2017.

HSBC HQ

The lender will move the IT jobs to Poland, China and India.

The layoffs include 595 jobs in Sheffield and a further 245 posts lost in London, Leeds and Birmingham, The Guardian reported.

HSBC UK chief operating officer John Hackett said: "As part of a global relocation exercise, around 840 non-customer-facing IT roles will transfer from the UK to other sites around the world by the end of March 2017.

"The UK will continue to play an important role in HSBC's global IT infrastructure, employing several thousand IT professionals."

Last year, HSBC announced a three-year restructuring plan that involved shutting down of underperforming units to raise its revenue. Its earnings were pressurized by an increase in compliance costs, penalties, and low interest rates.

The restructuring plan will eliminate one-sixth of its employees in Britain. Its headcount stood at 47,000 in the UK by the end of December last year.

As part of its cost cutting measures, the bank has also put a freeze on hiring and pay across all of its global units until the end of 2016.

HSBC's latest job cut move has invited the wrath of the unions, who expressed discontent for being asked to train overseas recruits before their jobs get relocated.

Unite's national officer for finance Dominic Hooksaid: "HSBC's decision to axe so many IT jobs is as ruthless as it is reckless. For almost a year staff have been left in the dark about their futures, only to be told that before being shown the door they're expected to train someone in India or China who will do their job for less money.

"It's a deeply cynical move by a bank which wants to be an 'employer of choice'.

"Offshoring IT jobs to so-called 'low-cost economies' is extremely short-sighted. As IT glitches across the banks continue to prove, it is ultimately the customers who will suffer the consequences."

The bank's profit declined 18% in the first quarter this year, as volatility in the global markets hurt its revenue performance in the first two months of 2016.

Profit earned by Britain's biggest bank dropped to $4.3bn in the March quarter from $5.26bn in the same quarter a year earlier.

Its revenue fell by 5.8% to $14.98bn, as its clients' activity was hit by uncertainty in the markets.


Image: HSBC's headquarters in London. Photo courtesy of Danesman1/Wikipedia.