HSBC is offshoring around 200 UK IT jobs to India, China and Poland and shutting 62 branches with the loss of another 180 positions.
The 204 tech job losses are part of a massive cost reduction plan unveiled back in 2015, which resulted in 800 Brits losing their IT positions last year, replaced by cheaper labour overseas.
Similarly, the branch closures are the final part of a "restructuring" programme which has seen HSBC close more than a quarter of its UK sites in the last two years. Having already planned to shut 55 branches this year, the additional 62 brings the total number set to close to 117, leaving a network of 625.
HSBC says that over the past five years, the number of customers using branches has fallen by almost 40%. More than 90% of customers’ contact with the bank is now completed via the telephone, internet or smartphone, and 97% of cash withdrawals are made via an ATM.
With this in mind, HSBC is focusing its spending on digital channels, earmarking $1 billion globally to boost its mobile and online services. The bank is also stressing that customers can carry out day-to-day banking at 11,600 Post Office locations thanks to an industry-wide deal announced just today.
Francesca McDonagh, head, retail banking and wealth management, UK and Europe, HSBC, says: "The way our customers bank with us is changing. More customers are using mobile and internet banking than ever before, innovation such as Touch and Voice ID has proved extremely popular, and fewer people are using branches.
"The decision to close these branches ensures a more sustainable branch network for the future as we continue to invest in our digital platforms and our people. We will have fewer but better branches, with more empowered front line colleagues using a greater range of technology to support all our customers' needs."
However, Unite the Union has slammed the latest job losses. Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, says: "Unite is deeply concerned that this large branch closure programme will be devastating not only for staff but also for the loyal HSBC customers who will lose their community branch."