5 Dec 2011
Banking giant HSBC is to axe hundreds of jobs in response to a “very challenging” economic environment.
The bank, which has been hit by a £10.5 million fine for giving “inappropriate investment advice” to elderly customers, said around 330 jobs will be lost.
But the Unite union said 551 posts will be axed, and attacked the bank for making a “disgraceful” announcement so close to Christmas.
HSBC said the cuts will affect 232 workers in its commercial bank as its regional structure “consolidates” from nine to six, 20 in the retail bank in northern Ireland and 58 in the technology services division.
Joe Garner, head of HSBC’s UK Bank, said: “We are acutely aware of how difficult the economic environment is at the moment, and these decisions were only taken after long and careful consideration.
“Every effort is being made to support impacted employees and redeploy as many people as possible within the bank.”
David Fleming, Unite national officer said: “For the hugely profitable HSBC bank to announce 551 job cuts, just three weeks before Christmas, is disgraceful. Unite has urged the bank to reconsider this decision which will cause unhappiness for staff during the holiday period.
“Unite strongly opposes these job cuts and is seeking redeployment opportunities for all the 551 employees, which represent upwards of a third of business banking managers and staff dealing with medium-scale companies. Staff at the bank have seen constant turmoil since August when the bank announced 25,000 job cuts globally. This decision is another blow.
“On the day when HSBC has been fined £10.5 million for giving inappropriate advice to elderly customers, it is bizarre that it would choose to make staffing cuts. Instead the bank should be working to improve the quality of its service.”