HSBC cuts 8,000 UK jobs, IT roles could be be outsourced

HSBC will invest in cloud computing to reduce costs, while software engineering jobs could move to Asia.

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HSBC's decision to cut up to 25,000 jobs globally is set to impact IT staff in the UK, with many tech jobs expected to be outsourced as the bank shifts its focus to Asia.

The bank, which is considering moving its headquarters to Hong Kong, expects to make substantial savings through a combination of the sale of businesses in Brazil and Turkey, as well as cutting IT and back office roles.

Around 8,000 jobs expected to be cut in the UK – around one in six jobs.

HSBC was unable to comment on the number of IT related roles being cut in the UK, but did not rule out redundancies.

However, the bank’s union, Unite, says back office roles are likely to be targeted, and is "urgently" seeking clarification from HSBC about the impact this latest wave of job cuts on IT staff.

“While not always as visible to the public as workers in high street branches, back office staff have been hit just as hard by job losses and attacks on terms and conditions," said Dominic Hook, national officer for finance, in a statement to ComputerworldUK. "This is especially true of IT departments who have faced the threat of outsourcing across the sector.” 

He added: “IT departments are the backbone of this global industry which relies on its ability to digitally connect both between sites and with customers. It is a disgrace that they are being punished for the misconduct of senior and investment bankers."

As part of the business overhaul, HSBC is expected to focus on cost savings by investing in modernised IT systems. According to the Financial Times, this could involve replacing legacy software applications with cloud-based platforms to help simplify its operations. IT jobs could also follow the company if it is to shift focus to higher growth Asian markets.

“As a result of those changes, China and India will account for 75 per cent of software engineering, up from 50 per cent today, which will save up to $525m,” the paper said.

TechMarketView’s financial services analyst, Peter Roe, said the latest reorganisation will drive a change in its IT sourcing strategy.

“This reorganisation will drive a substantial change in HSBC’s sourcing of its IT, opening the door to offshore suppliers, and the longer term role of in-house IT will certainly change,” he said.

“Cloud services will be used more extensively and there is a major opportunity for well-resourced suppliers with domain expertise as HSBC works out how to transform its legacy systems to fit with its new vision.”

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