Europe’s largest bank is handing out pink slips to hundreds of U.K.-based information technology workers as part of a multibillion-dollar restructuring plan that includes laying off 8,000 British employees.
The IT work will be sent to India, China and Poland to reduce payroll costs, according to local media reports.
HSBC, the world’s sixth-largest bank by assets in 2015, started laying off 840 IT staff members Monday, anonymous sources told Reuters. Most of the workers — 595 of them — are located in Sheffield and Tankersley, where HSBC is a major private employer. The work will be sent to other locations by the end of March 2017, according to the Star.
“Sheffield is a key regional hub for HSBC and remains a major center of excellence for our IT operations,” John Hackett, chief operating officer of HSBC UK, told the Star, adding that the bank “will continue to employ more than 2,700 people in Sheffield after these redundancies.”
HSBC announced a three-year global restructuring plan last year that would shut underperforming businesses amid higher compliance costs, fines and low interest rates. In 2012 the bank was fined $1.9 billion by U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be a conduit for $881 million worth of drug cartel money laundering.
In February the bank paid $470 million as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over “abusive mortgage practices” during the 2007-09 U.S. housing crisis.
The restructuring plan will eventually lead to curbing 20 percent of the bank’s global workforce. HSBC had 47,000 U.K. workers as of December, and more cuts to the bank’s IT departments are expected in the coming months.