HSBC is to move 1200 of its call centre staff to permanent working from home contracts, Reuters reports.
Around 70% of the bank’s 1800 call centre staff based across England, Wales and Scotland have volunteered to never return to the office, Unite, one of Britain’s biggest employment unions, told Reuters.
The bank has offered staff a £300 per annum stipend to cover home working expenses.
A quarter of staff declined the offer as they wanted to work in the office at least some of the time, while five percent preferred to go back to the office permanently.
HSBC had already closed a call centre in Swansea, South Wales since the pandemic. Its main two remaining call centres are in Leeds in northern England and Hamilton, Scotland.
Speaking to analysts in February, HSBC chief Noel Quinn said the bank planned to radically cut back on its office space and switch to having a more permanent agile workforce.
Quinn said: “There’ll be much more of a hybrid model of people working in the offices, but in a different way, but also working from home when they want to.
“Canary Wharf will be the primary London office, [but] the nature of working in that office will change to have a higher occupancy per square foot because we’ll have a hybrid style of working and we’ll probably release premises elsewhere in London.”
Similar moves are afoot at JPMorgan, which expects ten percent of its staff to continue working from home post-pandemic. The construction of JP Morgan’s new HQ in New York will continue, and more employees will be consolidated there, JPmorgan chief Jamie Dimon told shareholders in his annual letter. However, overall the changes would “significantly reduce our need for real estate”.