Nigel Hinshelwood, HSBC’s head of UK, has reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to Birmingham in the wake of the Brexit vote. Speaking at a briefing for Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly business report, Mr Hinshelwood gave a reassuring message that the EU referendum result would not affect HSBC’s strategy - or its move to a new national headquarters at Arena Central in 2017.
He told delegates at the University of Birmingham-sponsored event at Birmingham Metropolitan College: “I get asked all the time does the decision to leave Europe change our strategy within HSBC UK? “The answer to the question is absolutely not - it does not change our business strategy just because the UK voted to leave Europe. It will, of course, change the way that our commercial, retail and private bank customers may need our support, particularly in the next few years.
“The UK will continue to be a key part of our global network. It is one of our two home markets - the other being Hong Kong. It is also the home to our global headquarters and that will not change - we remain headquartered in London. But Birmingham will become the head office of HSBC UK. This city and the wider West Midlands region brings us closer to our 16 million retail and our one million commercial customers by literally being in the heart of the UK.
“We see Birmingham as the centre of a £110bn regional economy. It has the largest concentration of businesses outside of London, home to 37,000 companies and it really gives us an opportunity to contribute to regional growth."
The relocation of HSBC UK’s head office at the end of next year is expected to bring 1,200 new jobs into Birmingham, with approximately 1,000 roles moving from London, as well as the creation of 200 new roles. Mr Hinshelwood added the bank’s commitment to the city is underlined by the fact that many of its London-based workforce have already made plans to relocate. The Chamber’s quarterly business report is the region’s most comprehensive regular report on business performance.