HSBC creating 500 jobs, but Lloyds to axe 250 posts

Banking giant HSBC has unveiled plans to create 500 jobs amid a 'significant expansion' of its operations in Scotland.

The recruitment drive will take HSBC's headcount in Scotland to 4,500. Picture: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

HSBC said the move marked its third expansion programme in the past three years and will take its headcount north of the Border to 4,500.

But the news came as it emerged that more than 250 jobs could be lost in Dundee after Lloyds Banking Group announced plans to close its contact centre in the city.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lloyds, owner of the Bank of Scotland brand, will cease operations at its West Marketgait premises from 8 December. It comes as the company aims to boost efficiency by focusing on “larger centres of excellence”.

'Scotland has the talent we need,' said HSBC's Scottish chief, Alison McGregor. Picture: Iain McLean

About 230 of the 252 staff based in Dundee will be able to consider a move to the group’s centre in Dunfermline.

A Lloyds spokeswoman said: “As we continue to adapt to the changing needs of customers and ensure we remain as efficient as possible, we are developing our business with a focus on larger centres of excellence.

“As a result of this, we have announced that, from 8 December, we will no longer undertake contact centre work from West Marketgait, Dundee.

'Scotland has the talent we need,' said HSBC's Scottish chief, Alison McGregor. Picture: Iain McLean

“We will provide ongoing support for all colleagues affected by today’s announcement as they work through what this change means for them.”

HSBC’s recruitment drive will add roles at its global risk function, established in Edinburgh in 2015, and will also expand its “centre of excellence” for customer contact in Hamilton. A range of other business functions across Scotland are included in its plans.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who visited the lender’s global risk operations in Edinburgh, said: “HSBC’s expansion with the creation of 500 new jobs across Scotland is fantastic news for the economy. This is testament to our skills and expertise and builds on HSBC’s significant business presence here.

“Scotland remains open for business and this announcement further demonstrates our position as a prime location for investment and growth.”

The jobs boost comes days after HSBC’s UK chief executive, Ian Stuart, said the group could keep more jobs in Britain depending on whether the government pursues a hard or soft Brexit.

HSBC, which currently has 43,000 employees in the UK, revealed in January that it was planning to move “activities covered specifically by European financial regulation” to the EU, resulting in about 1,000 jobs being shifted to the Continent.

But Stuart said: “Depending on a hard or soft Brexit, that number might be slightly less than that, so it’s going to be updated all the time.”

The group recently launched a £500 million lending fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland, its largest package of support for firms north of the Border and an increase on the £450m it allocated last year.

Alison McGregor, chief executive of HSBC in Scotland, said yesterday: “We are absolutely committed to helping businesses and individuals to achieve their ambitions. The successful establishment of our global risk function demonstrates that Scotland has the talent we need and HSBC is a place that talented people want to work.”

“This is our third year of significant expansion in Scotland. The new roles announced today and the launch of our largest-ever SME fund for Scottish businesses are part of our commitment to support the growth of the Scottish economy.”