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HSBC leaving Canary Wharf headquarters

HSBC is to leave its current Canary Wharf headquarters by 2027 as hybrid-working policies reduce demand for office space

HSBC will leave its Canary Wharf headquarters building by 2027 and move staff to a smaller office space after hybrid-working policies reduced the need for office space.

The UK’s largest bank will move its headquarters to a smaller office in the City of London.

Number 8 Canada Square in Canary Wharf is a tower block that houses around 8,000 staff and has been HSBC’s headquarters for more than 20 years, but following new working arrangements brought in during the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank is downsizing and will leave Canary Wharf when its current lease expires.

In an email to staff, HSBC told staff its preferred new site is Panorama St Paul’s in the City of London: “We will now begin more detailed discussions on a potential lease, with the intention to move in late 2026.

“Panorama offers a modern office environment in the City, well-connected to major transport links and amenities. The building is being designed to promote wellbeing and constructed to best-in-class sustainability standards, using predominantly repurposed materials.”

In early 2021, HSBC formalised hybrid-working policies and said it planned to reduce its office space by 40% and move to a hybrid-working model that enables staff to work from home as well as in offices.

Speaking of the plan in February 2021, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said offices with support functions and head office activities were being targeted for space reduction: “We believe we will achieve...a very different style of working post-Covid with a more hybrid model.” At the time, Quinn said HSBC would retain its Canary Wharf office and bring staff back when appropriate.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to enable staff to work from home while limitations on people’s movements were in place to reduce the spread of the virus. The latest technologies, including video conferencing, have made the transition from the office to the home a great success.

Since then, in light of the success of hybrid working, bank after bank has announced plans to formalise work-from-home policies.

According to the TechTarget/Computer Weekly IT Priorities survey for 2023, 84% of all UK and Ireland based firms said they would invest in “future of work” initiatives. A second wave of investments is being expanded to employee training, retention and experience, networking, end user computing and digital workspaces.

Read more about hybrid working at banks

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