HSBC ‘completely demeaning’ axed workers over training foreign replacements - Sheffield MP

Louise Haigh MP outside Parliament
Louise Haigh MP outside Parliament
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HSBC should not subject Sheffield workers it is making redundant to the ‘completely demeaning’ job of training their cheaper foreign replacements, MP Louise Haigh has said.

The Sheffield Heeley MP has written to Nigel Hinshelwood, head of HSBC UK, to ask him to reconsider the move.

HSBC announced it was cutting 595 IT jobs in Sheffield and Tankersley on Monday, with their jobs being transferred to India, China and Poland.

Some staff losing their jobs have been asked to train up their replacements before they are made redundant - a decision HSBC has described as ‘standard practice’.

Miss Haigh said the banking giant - which made a £13bn profit last year - was treating its workers with a lack of respect.

She said: “The plan to ask soon-to-be redundant HSBC workers to train up those taking their jobs is completely demeaning.

“It is also deeply disturbing for a business of this size to behave with disregard for the people who should be their priority.

“I have written to the Head of UK HSBC to ask that they retain enough knowledge and skill in the UK to train up new staff and to ensure soon-to-be-redundant staff are not put through such a demeaning process.”

Miss Haigh also raised concerns about the bank’s plan to close ‘satellite’ branches in Woodseats and Hillsborough and on Ecclesall Road and Fargate.

She said the bank should consider proposals for a mobile banking centre to go to people who bank with HSBC left isolated in the areas of the city where the branches will close.

Miss Haigh also asked Mr Hinshelwood to provide reassurances that HSBC is not planning to make further job cuts in Sheffield, where it will employ 2,700 people after the IT redundancies are made.

The company’s announcement that it was cutting 840 IT jobs across the country - mainly in Sheffield - is the first part of wider plans announced last year to get rid of 8,000 jobs from its British operations.

Miss Haigh said: “Having made a £13bn profit, many people across the city and the country will see job cuts like these as the unacceptable face of big business - shipping skilled jobs out of our city with scant regard for the high trained workers or the communities who relied on them - to cut costs and maximise their eye-watering profits.”

“I’ve written to HSBC reminding them of the wider responsibilities they have to communities and to provide guarantees that no more HSBC workers will be laid off beyond this announcement.”

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said the news of the intended job cuts was ‘devastating’ for the city.

He said: “This is devastating news for the 595 staff and their families, but it’s also bad for the local economy. The work is still needed by HSBC, but the jobs are being moved to China and India to save money. I have asked the Government what discussions that they’ve had with the Bank to try to keep the jobs in Sheffield, but they’re setting a poor example themselves by moving Business Department posts from the city to London.”