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HSBC Considers New London HQ

HSBC Considers New London HQ
27 February 2023

Reports from The Sunday Times suggest that HSBC is looking to leave its global headquarters at 8 Canada Square in Canary Wharf.

According to the British newspaper, HSBC has tasked Cushman & Wakefield to assist the bank in finding a new 500,000 sq ft base – a space less than half the size of its current office footprint.

HSBC has occupied 8 Canada Square since 2002, and its lease runs out in 2027.

It has long been anticipated that HSBC would shed office space. In 2021, CEO Noel Quinn pledged to cut 40 per cent of HSBC’s office space amidst the ongoing preference for hybrid working. In a memo seen by Reuters in October 2022, Chief Operating Officer John Hinshaw stated that HSBC wanted to assess its "best future location in London”.

According to data from Bloomberg Intelligence, which surveyed 500 London workers, 25 per cent of companies are downsizing office holdings and a further 18 per cent are opting for co-working and flexible office spaces instead.

Founder of global consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates Andrew Mawson feels that HSBC’s move to reduce its office footprint reflects what he’s seeing in his business both domestically and abroad:

“We think supply will eventually double, and demand will halve. That means you’ll have about four times more space than is needed. Governments may need to prime the pump to turn offices into residential units and other uses. New York developers are already turning city towers, now rendered obsolete by remote working, into homes. It will be interesting to see if there’s enough cash for similar office conversions to residential in the UK.

“It will definitely be a buyer's market. Occupiers with leases expiring over the next two or three years should not be hoodwinked by the agents and landlords into thinking that it's a tight market because rents must now fall.”

Picture: a photograph of an HSBC sign. Image Credit: HSBC

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 27 February 2023


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