HSBC, a major European asset finance provider, has announced plans to reduce its global headquarters office space by half and is moving out of Canary Wharf.

Europe’s biggest bank by asset value confirmed this week that it would give up the lease on its 40-plus tower block in favour of a much smaller building in the City of London. 

HSBC said the relocation from 8 Canada Square, where it’s been since 2002, to Panorama St. Paul’s, a new development currently under construction, would not happen until late 2026. 

At Canary Wharf, HSBC occupies 1.1 million square feet of office space. The bank’s new HQ at St Paul’s will be 556,000 square feet.

The move is in line with a global trend among corporates to move out of expensive office spaces in major capitals around the world.

According to a world survey of 347 companies by Knight Frank, a UK-based real estate firm, half of firms with more than 50,000 employees plan to downsize their office space by between 10% and 20%, 

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The Knight Frank survey highlighted changes in the commercial real estate market, which has undergone significant change following the pandemic, which saw a dramatic rise in working from home and more recently, rising interest rates. 

HSBC’s planned departure also raises questions about whether other big companies will also consider leaving. 

Within the financial sector, other banks, including Lloyds and Standard Chartered, have announced plans to exit expensive office space and have extended flexible working arrangements to staff.

In June 2021, Barclays announced plans to move its corporate and investment bank from 5 North Colonnade to its London headquarters at One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, bringing together all employees based in Canary Wharf into one building.