Bank jobs are at risk in five branches of HSBC in Brighton and Hove.
Even the branches themselves could close.
HSBC said today (Tuesday 9 June) that it was cutting up to 25,000 jobs around the world, with 8,000 going in Britain.
The banking group aims to cut 10 per cent of its full-time staff – with about 48,000 people employed in Britain and more than 250,000 worldwide.
And it plans to close 12 per cent of its branches, with Britain one of seven areas across the globe expected to be most affected.
There are 1,057 branches in Britain. The five local branches are in
- North Street, Brighton
- Western Road, Brighton
- King’s Parade, in Ditchling Road, at Fiveways, Brighton
- Church Road, Hove
- Boundary Road, Hove
HSBC wants to save about £3 billion a year over the next two years. It paid a banking levy of more than £700 million to the British government last year and is threatening to move its global headquarters abroad.
It also said today that it would rebrand its retail banking operation – the branches in the high street – with the headquarters moving from London to Birmingham within four years.
This has prompted speculation that branches could revert to their old name – the Midland. HSBC bought the chain in 1992 and some observers believe that the business may be sold.
The proposed changes were blamed on rules brought in to separate retail banking from investment banking operations.
The Unite union national officer for finance Dominic Hook said: “Unite are seeking to meet with UK chief executive Antonio Simoes as soon as possible to demand that any redundancies are through voluntary means or managed through natural attrition.
“This latest wave of job losses is a stab in the back to a dedicated workforce who have put HSBC back on the road to recovery since 2008.
“After all the scandals of recent years, frontline staff have suffered time and time again as they are forced to pay for the mistakes of others with their jobs, their terms and conditions and their reputation.
“Unite will consult with our members in HSBC, we will fight for them and we will support them.”
HSBC made today’s announcement a week after being fined almost £30 million to settle a money laundering investigation in Switzerland and months after reporting a fall in pre-tax profit to £12 billion.
And tomorrow (Wednesday 10 June) George Osborne will make the Chancellor’s annual Mansion House speech.
Some expect him to soften the government line over the banking levy now that the Conservatives are no longer in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
The former Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable was a noted critic of the banking sector but the Chancellor is concerned that banks like HSBC may relocate.
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