HSBC Scraps Executive Floor in Canary Wharf as Part of Flexible Working Push -- Financial News
By James Booth
Of Financial News
HSBC Holdings PLC boss Noel Quinn has scrapped the executive
floor of its Canary Wharf headquarters as it seeks to slash real
estate needs in its post-pandemic working policy.
Mr. Quinn said the 42nd-floor private offices formerly used by
the bank's top executives have now been turned into client meeting
The bank's senior executives now hot-desk on an open-plan floor
two storeys below.
"Our offices were empty half the time because we were traveling
around the world. That was a waste of real estate," Mr. Quinn told
the Financial Times. "If I'm asking our colleagues to change the
way that they're working, then it's only right that we change the
way we're working."
"We don't have a designated desk. You turn up and grab one in
the morning," he added. "I won't be in the office five days a week.
I think it's unnecessary...It's the new reality of life."
The move is part of a wider strategic shift to cut 40% from its
global head office costs, Mr. Quinn said.
To achieve that goal HSBC doesn't plan to renew many of its
city-centre leases over the next three to five years. It is also
introducing a policy of about two employees per desk, excluding
"We will have a very different working style going forward that
will be much more hybrid, where colleagues can part work in the
office, part at home," Mr. Quinn said.
HSBC was contacted for comment.
The bank is also undertaking a wider restructuring exercise as
part of a plan to pivot the bank towards its markets in Asia.
The lender aims to strip out 35,000 jobs as part of the plans to
cut jobs and move its focus to core markets.
Greg Guyett, co-CEO of global banking and markets at HSBC, Nuno
Matos, chief executive of wealth and personal banking and Barry
O'Byrne, chief executive of global commercial banking, are all set
to move to Hong Kong as part of the shake-up.
"This decision reflects the importance of the Asia-Pacific
region to the strategies of CMB, GBM and WPB. Being based in Hong
Kong will enable Barry, Greg and Nuno to be closer to the execution
of their plans and to customer needs in the region," wrote Mr.
Quinn this month in a memo seen by Financial News.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 19, 2021 04:26 ET (08:26 GMT)
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