[LONDON] HSBC, Europe's largest bank, were to begin laying off 850 information technology workers in Britain on Monday, the first big tranche of redundancies under a restructuring plan that will eliminate 8,000 British jobs by the end of next year.
Most of the staff affected were being informed about the cuts on Monday, according to sources who asked not to be identified because they were not authorised to discuss the plans publicly.
The employees are based in London, Sheffield, Leeds and Birmingham and all the jobs will disappear by the end of this year, the sources said.
HSBC declined to comment.
The bank unveiled its three-year restructuring plan last year, designed to pare back its sprawling global network by shutting underperforming businesses to improve earnings hurt by high compliance costs, fines and low interest rates.
The restructuring will eventually eliminate one job in five around the world and around a sixth of jobs in Britain.
When the restructuring plan was announced, chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver said most of the job losses in Britain would come from employees leaving on their own accord.
HSBC has 47,000 UK workers at the end of December, according to its most recent annual report. More cuts are expected over the coming months as the bank continues to consolidate IT and back office operations, the sources said.