Europe’s Largest Bank To Cut 40% Of Its Global Office Space
Europe’s largest bank HSBC intends to reduce 40% of its global office space in the coming years as part of a cost-cutting programme. The bank made the announcement in a presentation to analysts with its 2020 results. Noel Quinn, HSBC’s chief executive, said the reduction will come at the expense of not renewing leases on occupied premises and will not affect the headquarters building in London.
Those buildings that will remain at the bank’s disposal afterwards will, according to Mr. Quinn, be used more flexibly. « The way we work in our offices will change – the occupancy rate will increase because we will have a hybrid working model, » he explained. At the same time, there will be no overcrowding, as the bank laid off 11,000 employees in 2020, including 17% of the management staff. In addition, the hybrid model will involve some tasks being done remotely, including from home.
The move to a similar hybrid working model was also announced earlier this week by Lloyds head Antonio Horta-Osorio. The bank will offer « sustainable workplace solutions to attract and retain a more professional, diverse and future-ready workforce », he told The Independent. Some other banks, such as Standard Chartered, have already switched to such a hybrid working model. At that, a number of banks, including Barclays and JPMorgan, the British publication said, citing statements from their chief executives, were skeptical about the idea of remote working on a wide scale. In their view, such a regime has a negative impact on employee well-being and reduces efficiency.