Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Union 'appalled' at HSBC job cuts

HSBC logo
The Essex headquarters will close and operations will move to Birmingham

The Unite union has reacted angrily to HSBC's plans to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK including all 750 staff in Southend.

The bank's Essex headquarters at the Victoria Centre in the town is to close at the end of next year.

Credit card and debt collection services currently based in Southend are to be consolidated in Birmingham over the next 12 months.

Unite said it was "appalled" that HSBC could axe staff who have "contributed to £3bn half-year profits".

'Crucial asset'

The job losses will affect four main sites in England: Southend, Southampton, Leicester and Sheffield, although HSBC has said it will create "several hundred new roles" in Birmingham.

Unite's national officer, Rob MacGregor, said: "Unite is appalled that HSBC is choosing to cut a further 1,700 staff from across the UK.

"HSBC needs to urgently reconsider its strategy.

"At a time of strong market performance by HSBC, they should not be cutting their most crucial asset, the staff that have contributed to £3bn half-year profits."

HSBC's UK head Paul Thurston has described the job cuts as an "essential part of the streamlining of our business".

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