HSBC bank announces plan to cut over 1,000 jobs

Louth's HSBC branch in the Cornmarket.
Louth's HSBC branch in the Cornmarket.

Up to 2,000 jobs could be cut at the HSBC bank, which has a branch in Louth, as the company looks to deal with the ‘changing nature’ of its business.

The bank said the move will lead to a potential reduction of 1,149 roles, but the Unite union have claimed that more than 2,000 are being axed.

The union said the announcement was a ‘disgrace’ and warned that it had not ruled out balloting its members for industrial action.

HSBC said a total of 3,166 employees will be affected by the changes, but it added that 2,017 jobs are being created, with most filled by displaced employees.

They said they would not comment on individual branches at this stage when we asked about the Louth branch in the Cornmarket.

HSBC said in a statement: “From June 1, the bank will combine all existing wealth advisers within HSBC’s consumer retail banking business.

“New roles will also be added to create a diploma-qualified adviser force of 853 people.”

Chief executive Brian Robertson said: “I understand change is always unsettling, particularly for those directly affected.

“However, I also firmly believe what we are proposing is essential in order for us to fulfil our customers’ expectations.

“We are doing everything possible to offer impacted employees opportunities from the many newly created roles, and I’m confident a significant majority will remain with the bank.”

Antonio Simoes, head of the UK bank, added: “These proposals, together with the recent removal of all sales targets for our employees and the complete decoupling of incentives from those sales, mean our customers can expect us to fully focus on serving their needs and do the right thing.”

The bank said it is also making changes to some roles in its commercial banking business and will reduce the number of its business specialist roles and increase the number of its international business managers across the country.

The Unite union said displaced workers will be able to reapply for the new roles, but said most will either not have the right qualifications or will be based in the wrong part of the country to be able to secure an alternative job.

Officials pointed out that three months ago HSBC announced it was planning to close its final salary pension scheme, reduce holiday entitlement and sick pay, while 4,000 jobs cuts were announced last year.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: “HSBC is making staff suffer in the search for ever greater profits. The bank’s behaviour is a disgrace.

“After making proposals to slash pensions, holidays and sick pay, the bank is now slashing even more jobs.”