BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - HSBC Bank employees brace for a bombshell. Thousands of jobs could be on the line.
At stake is the huge presence of HSBC in WNY. The bank's global chairman will be making an announcement Wednesday morning in London, England, which will be at 4 a.m. in our time zone, about a strategy going forward for the bank and its various branches and divisions. It's causing a lot of speculation.
Changes are coming from HSBC Bank, but the question is, exactly what? Some analysts are speculating HSBC could sell off its credit card business in the United States and perhaps some of its branches. As well all know, HSBC is a major player in WNY with about 5,000 employees and some 70 branches.
The bank is looking to curb expenses and become a better performer. But will that mean a major restructuring in WNY? Elaine Jabcuga hopes Wednesday's announcement doesn't mean job losses for the area.
Jabcuga said, "I have two children who moved out of the area. They're in Florida now because they couldn't get jobs here. My husband, he's out of the area. He's working in Washington because there's no jobs here for him. And it's just disappointing."
In the meantime, workers are anxiously awaiting word. Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader Rich Fontana is hoping Buffalo doesn't get a bad surprise Wednesday morning.
"Hopefully we get some good news out of HSBC in London. We know their new leadership, we don't know some of the decisions they'll be making because there aren't a lot of ties to Buffalo with their new leadership, so that has us worried. But Buffalo's a great city. I think the city council and the mayor are willing to do whatever it takes to keep HSBC growing in downtown Buffalo. And we're there for HSBC," said Fontana.
Until Wednesday, everyone will just have to wait and hope.
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