BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Thousands of jobs are one the line at one of western New York's largest employers. HSBC Bank plans to announce a cost-cutting overhaul for its operations worldwide.
It's a major presence in the region, occupying the tallest building in downtown Buffalo. HSBC employs around 5,000 people throughout western New York.
Many work at the Mortgage Center in Depew. Back in 2008, 20 percent of the workforce was cut when HSBC closed its wholesale and third party correspondent mortgage business. And just a year ago, 80 people were handed pink slips.
Speculation has been swirling in recent weeks about more layoffs and even worse. It's not surprising that employees didn't want to talk on camera because they don't know what that announcement will be. They were only told that it's coming on Wednesday.
That's when the bank's global chairman will be making the announcement in London, England at 4 a.m. our time. Stuart Gulliver is expected to outline a strategy going forward for the bank and its various branches and divisions.
Financial analysts are saying that HSBC could sell off its credit card business in the United States and perhaps some of its branches to re-balance the company. The large mortgage center on Walden Avenue employs around 800 people. And in just the HSBC tower downtown, there are over 2,000 employees.
Common Council Majority Leader Richard Fontana said, "The Common Council has been working with HSBC on the downtown site."
Despite the potential for grim news coming from London Wednesday morning, Fontana seemed optimistic.
"We'll do anything we can to help them to expand their footprint, but we're hearing that there's a decision coming down and we're hopeful that's an expansion," said Fontana.
A public relations representative from HSBC said he doesn't know what will come from Wednesday's shake up at the London meeting, but says we may know a bit more about the bank's future in western New York sometime late Wednesday morning.
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