HSBC downsizes, 1,400 jobs go

03 July 2003
Banking giant HSBC will remove 1,400 jobs from its UK workforce by the end of 2003, in a bid to hold down costs amid a stifling regulatory regime and adverse economic conditions.

HSBC says regulations on banks, such as the requirement to pay interest on current accounts for small businesses, have hit its books hard, costing an extra £80 million a year.

The UK's biggest bank said 700 workers would be laid off, though HSBC hoped the cost cutting measure could be achieved by natural turnover or through voluntary means.

Workers at HSBC'S head office in Canary Wharf, London, and regional offices in Southampton, Birmingham and Sheffield are thought most likely at risk of redundancy.

The decision was "painful," chief executive Bill Dalton said.

HSBC forecasts job cuts will save the bank around £1.5 million.

The bank currently employs 43,800 people in Britain.