April 28, 2021

HSBC to Cut Office Space 20%, Reduce Business Travel by Half

HSBC Holdings Plc expects to cut its office footprint by 20% this year and is…

HSBC Holdings Plc expects to cut its office footprint by 20% this year and is budgeting for half its previous business travel costs as the adoption of flexible working spurs changes to longstanding practices.

The bank, which has already committed to a 40% reduction in office space in the long term, expects to get halfway to its goal over the course of this year, Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television Tuesday.

“We do very much want to move to a hybrid working environment,” he said.

HSBC’s pace highlights how quickly the pandemic has redrawn the office market as businesses debate the type and extent of space required for their newly-remote workforces. Vacancies have soared in financial centers such as London, and even Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn and his senior team at HSBC are hot-desking to help reduce the bank’s footprint at its Canary Wharf headquarters.