HSBC UK IT braced for cuts as bank weighs up opportunities in Asia

HSBC's UK IT team is likely to be reduced in size as focus moves to Asia

HSBC is expected to cut as many as 8,000 jobs in the UK as it reshapes products, redeploys resources and cuts costs by $5bn in the next 18 months.

The bank, which is expected to cut 25,000 jobs globally, wants to be in better shape to take advantage of opportunities in growth regions of the world, with the Asian market top of its agenda. It is also reviewing where it should be headquartered.

In the UK, where it has its headquarters, the bank employs almost 50,000 people.

A focus on digital technology will see cuts in back-office and customer-facing staff, with those in IT and branches at risk. UK IT will be hit as more technology is moved to the cloud and development is offshored.

“We recognise that the world has changed and we need to change with it,” said HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver. He outlined 10 actions the bank is taking. These include capturing growth opportunities in Asia; selling operations in Brazil and Turkey; setting up a UK ring-fenced bank, expected to be in Birmingham; making up to $5bn cost savings; and completing a review of where to locate its headquarters by the end of this year.

HSBC’s desire to invest in Asia is clear. Gulliver said. “The world is increasingly connected, with Asia expected to show high growth and become the centre of global trade over the next decade. I am confident that our actions will allow us to capture expected future growth opportunities and deliver further value to shareholders.”

In February, HSBC appointed Darryl West as group CIO. West was previously group CIO and deputy chief operations and technology officer at Barclays. Prior to that he was CIO of Lloyds Banking Group.

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