June 9th, 2015
Banking giant HSBC has this week announced that it will be cutting nearly 20% of its UK workforce, as part of a major overhaul.
HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, is thought to be cutting around 25,000 jobs globally, with 8,000 of those to go from the UK, prompting fears from many Contractors that they will be first in line.
“We recognise that the world has changed and we need to change with it. That is why we are outlining these strategic actions that will further transform our organisation” said Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive.
The bank, which provides a total of 48,000 jobs in Britain, is to reduce its workforce in both retail banking and investment banking – alongside rebranding its High Street branch network.
This could mean a rejuvenation of the historic ‘Midland Bank’ brand, or even a switch to the name of HSBC’s online arm, First Direct.
Shares in HSBC were down 1p at 618.5p in morning trading in London, and down 0.4% in Hong Kong, where the stock has fallen almost 10% in the past year.
“HSBC are a huge organisation with a huge workforce, so it is only natural that, as a bank who provide many, many contract positions; that many of our clients have reacted with unease at this weeks’ news” said Simon Butler, a senior consultant at Contractor Mortgages Made Easy.
“It appears that HSBC are refocussing their target market towards Asia, where the Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation originated. In a market dominated by firms determined to squeeze every last penny out of resources, HSBC are generally not one who have left their staff in the lurch in the past. Indeed, they are one of few banks never to have had a voluntary redundancy scheme before.”
HSBC, who traditionally billed themselves as the “world’s local bank”, have previously prided themselves on combining the mass of a global brand with local knowledge, however cracks have been appearing in this strategy since as early as 2011, as Simon explains.
“HSBC has paid out billions in fines and settlements in relation to foreign exchange market manipulation and money laundering of late; and it has recently faced allegations that its Swiss private banking division helped clients avoid millions of pounds in tax.”
“It seems somewhat unjust that after all the scandals of recent years, front line staff are to suffer again as they are forced to pay for the mistakes of others with their jobs, their terms and conditions and their reputation.”
Article By: Mark McBurney, Senior Mortgage Consultant at Contractor Mortgages Made Easy
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