Union fury as HSBC confirms 500 UK job cuts

HSBC’s decision to cut more than 500 jobs so close to Christmas has been branded a disgrace by unions.

Yesterday (1 December) the banking giant confirmed it would cut 500 UK positions across the country, as part of a plan announced in September to axe more than 1,000 jobs worldwide – about 4% of the group’s global banking and markets employees.

But Unite the union claimed that HSBC was using the economic downturn as an excuse to make the job cuts. Joint general secretary Derek Simpson said: “The decision by HSBC to make 500 job cuts is a disgrace. Unite is appalled that this news has been delivered so close to Christmas. The union has seen no business rationale for these job losses.

“As far as we can see HSBC is simply using the economic downturn as an excuse to make job losses. The bank has again this year reported an increase in half-yearly profits and continues to do very well.”

Simpson added that the union had put forward several alternative proposals to HSBC, including a voluntary redundancy register, all of which it rejected. “Unite is opposed to any compulsory redundancies,” he said.

HSBC UK managing director Paul Thurston said: “We deeply regret taking this step, but we consider it essential to ensure our business is operating as efficiently as possible and that we are best-placed to deal with the economic downturn and maintain our levels of customer service.”

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