HSBC has added to UK banking industry woes by announcing plans to shutter seven regional offices and cut 1700 support jobs in its retail banking network.
The biggest cuts will come in credit cards and debt collections as a result of plans to consolidate operations from nine regional sites to two offices in Birmingham.
The banks says that most branch staff will be shielded from the axe. However, HSBC has already shut 37 branches this year and served notice that a further 17 are to be closed by the end of the year, to be followed by 16 more closures in January.
HSBC UK's chief executive, Paul Thurston, defended the move: "Decisions that affect our people are always difficult, but this restructure is an essential part of the streamlining of our business and the migration of activities into centres of excellence around the country."