HSBC is making almost 600 Sheffield workers redundant as it moves IT jobs to India, China and Poland.
Staff have been told details of the devastating news today by bosses from the banking giant, which is believed to be the city’s biggest commercial employer.
HSBC is moving 840 internal IT roles out of the UK - including 595 in Sheffield and Tankersley - to other sites around the world by the end of March 2017.
Around 490 of the roles being moved out of the country are in Sheffield, with about 105 at the company’s data centre in Tankersley.
Thirty jobs are to go in Leeds, with the other roles being cut mainly based in London.
The affected staff deal with internal company IT rather than directly with customers.
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The move means HSBC is cutting almost 20 per cent of its 3,200 Sheffield employees - but the bank said the city will remain ‘a major centre of excellence for our IT operations’.
It is part of plans announced by HSBC in June last year to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK as part of a £3bn savings drive. It said it intended to move jobs to ‘low-cost/high-quality’ locations.
HSBC is also going to close four Sheffield bank branches in the next few months.
Its branches in Woodseats, Ecclesall Road and Hillsborough are to shut in August, with the smaller of its two Fargate branches closing in November. The bank says all 14 employees across the four branches will be ‘redeployed’.
Many of the affected IT employees are based at HSBC’s Griffin House offices in Sheffield city centre.
The bank has confirmed it is looking to ‘consolidate’ its office space in Sheffield and is in ‘advanced discussions’ with Sheffield Council about investing in a new building.
The Star understands that HSBC is the ‘major blue chip company’ Sheffield Council has been in talks with about occupying the new Sheffield Retail Quarter development, but HSBC was unwilling to comment on this.
John Hackett, chief operating officer of HSBC UK, said: “Sheffield is a key regional hub for HSBC and remains a major centre of excellence for our IT operations.
“We are in advanced discussions with Sheffield City Council about investing in a new office building, and will continue to employ more than 2,700 people in Sheffield after these redundancies.
“We support more than 7,000 business customers in Sheffield, and we recently launched a £850m loan fund for businesses in Yorkshire.”
Dominic Hook, Unite national officer for finance, said: “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.
“Unite will continue to support our members throughout this process and work with our sister international trade unions to end this cynical race to the bottom.”
The news comes as the latest blow to the local economy, with a final decision due next week on the Government closing its business department office in Sheffield, affecting 250 workers.
There is also uncertainty about the future of Tata Steel’s sites in Stocksbridge and Rotherham, which employ around 2,000 people.
Sheffield Council is also looking to shed 400 jobs to deal with budget cuts.