HSBC has announced that 840 IT jobs are to go by the end of March 2017 in a major blow to UK workers.
The majority of the roles, 595 jobs, are set to go in Sheffield, while IT workers in Birmingham, Leeds and London are also at risk. Workers in India, China and Poland are expected to take over the roles.
HSBC UK chief operating officer John Hackett explained that the cuts should be no surprise as the firm outlined its plans to the market in June last year.
"In our investor update in June 2015, and many times since, we have stated that we are targeting significant cost reductions by the end of 2017,” he said.
“As part of a global relocation exercise, around 840 non-customer-facing IT roles will transfer from the UK to other sites around the world by the end of March 2017.”
Dominic Hood, Unite national officer for finance, said in response to the news that HSBC's decision is a “cynical race to the bottom” on staffing costs.
"HSBC’s decision to axe so many IT jobs is as ruthless as it is reckless. For almost a year staff have been left in the dark about their futures, only to be told that before being shown the door they're expected to train someone in India or China who will do their job for less money. It's a deeply cynical move by a bank which wants to be an 'Employer of Choice'," he said.
Hood also warned that the decision could hurt HSBC as IT banking outages can cause serious disruptions for customers.
“Offshoring IT jobs to so-called ‘low cost economies’ is extremely short sighted. As IT glitches across the banks continue to prove, it is ultimately the customers who will suffer the consequences,” he said.
HBSC was hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack in January that took down the firm's websites for a period of time.
The job cuts will be a major blow to those affected, but a silver lining could at least be that many organisations are looking to make IT and digital technology core to their operations and new roles may become available.
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