HSBC's outgoing techies told to train offshore replacements

HSBC has put its good standing with IT contractors at risk by asking its UK techies to train the people from abroad who will make them jobless.

The bank, recently voted ‘best client’ by IT contractors, said many of the 840 IT staff whose posts are to be offshored are expected to pass on their knowledge to their replacements.

Broached to the techies this week, the move relates to June 2015, when HSBC said it would save $5bn by cutting its 266,000-strong workforce by 25,000, with 8,000 losses in the UK.

Dominic Hook, a national officer for Unite, condemned both the IT job losses – the first round of cuts since the June announcement – and the retraining exercise as ‘cruel.’

“For almost a year staff have been left in the dark about their futures, only to be told that before being shown the door they're expected to train someone in India or China”, he said.  

“[These are people from abroad] who will do their job for less money. It's a deeply cynical move by a bank which wants to be an 'Employer of Choice'.” 

But HSBC insists that is taking the actions to ensure continued investment in IT by saving money via a “global relocation exercise.” John Hackett, HSBC’s UK COO, also said:

“The UK will continue to play an important role in HSBC's global IT infrastructure, employing several thousand IT professionals.”

Yet Mr Hook says banks’ offshoring IT jobs to low-cost locations (in this case India, China and Poland) is short-sighted and hurts customers, as services glitches “continue to prove”.

In the UK, he is concerned at the impact that the job cuts will have at HSBC sites in Birmingham, Leeds and London. But the biggest cull (595 jobs) will be at HSBC Sheffield.

Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam and former deputy prime minister, said on Twitter: “HSBC job cuts are devastating blow for Sheffield. My thoughts are with those affected.”

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