HSBC has decided to leave its longstanding headquarters in Canary Wharf in east London in favour of a move to a much smaller office in the centre of the city, according to a memo seen by Reuters.
Europe’s largest bank told staff its preferred option was to move to the redeveloped former offices of telecoms firm BT, a development known as Panorama St Paul’s.
The bank intends to move in late 2026, the memo said.
The switch will be seen as a blow to the Canary Wharf financial district, where a 45-floor skyscraper has been HSBC’s home for more than 20 years.
The commercial real estate market globally has struggled to bounce back after many office workers kept working from home at least some of the week since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Panorama St Paul’s is a 556,000 square foot development featuring roof gardens overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, according to the development’s website, and is substantially smaller than the tower HSBC currently occupies.
The bank began a review to assess its “best future location in London” last year, Reuters reported, ahead of its lease expiring at 8 Canada Square in early 2027.
The move by HSBC to the City of London historic financial district further solidifies the City’s reputation as a prime destination for financial services firms, the district’s policy chairman Chris Hayward said.
The Times newspaper reported HSBC’s decision earlier on Monday.
Canary Wharf Group, which runs the east London financial district, declined to comment. The Group has been attracting more life science firms.
(Reporting by Iain Withers; editing by Toby Chopra and Jason Neely)