Global banking giant HSBC has confirmed it is to slash its UK workforce by more than 2,200, with senior and middle management bearing the brunt of the wave of redundancies.
The bank employs more than 52,000 workers in the UK, of which around 40,000 work in HSBC branches, and is looking to "eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy".
"These changes will enhance our efficiency as detailed in the strategy we announced last May and they will also help ensure our continued profitability in the face of the changing regulatory landscape," said Brian Robertson, the Chief Executive of HSBC Bank.
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On the subject of profitability, Credit Suisse predicts HSBC will announce profit before tax of $5,214m when it releases its interim management statement on May 8th.
Perhaps with that level of profitability in mind, David Fleming, national officer at the Unite, union claimed "there is no justification for this awful treatment of staff."
HSBC said around a quarter of the proposed staff changes are in anticipation of the likely impact on business levels caused by the Retail Distribution Review, which will prevent UK banks can no longer offer financial advice for free.
The group's Chief Executive, Stuart Gulliver, announced in August of last year job cuts worldwide would go a lot deeper than previously indicated, with 30,000 HSBC workers across the globe set for the dole queue.
"The hypocrisy of Stuart Gulliver taking home £8m, while claiming the bank must cut thousands of staff in order to save money, will not be lost on the workforce," suggested Fleming.
Joe Garner, head of HSBC's UK Bank, said the bank had done its utmost "to keep the number of people who will be leaving the bank to a minimum."
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