UK

HSBC To Axe Over 2,000 Jobs Says Unite Union, Possibly Sparking Industrial Action

23/04/2013 13:06 BST | Updated 23/04/2013 13:21 BST

HSBC announced job cuts on Tuesday, impacting on thousands of its staff, over the "changing nature" of the business as well as regulation.

The bank said the move will lead to a potential reduction of 1,149 roles, but the Unite union said more than 2,000 were 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 job cuts

The cuts are needed as HSBC "evolves"

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.

"In order for HSBC to better meet the needs of customers who use its wealth management and advice services, the most significant changes are being proposed within the bank's wealth business," it said in a statement.

"From 1st June, 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.

"With the banking behaviour of our customers continually evolving, we must change our business to meet their needs.

"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: "Better serving our customers, particularly for their wealth management needs, is essential if we are to fulfil our aspiration of becoming the world's leading international bank.

"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.

"Evolving and improving our culture will take time but the changes announced today are another step in the right direction."

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.