HSBC is set to leave its headquarters at Canary Wharf when its lease expires in 2027 and will move back to the heart of the City, City AM understands.
The bank has been based in 8 Canada Square for more than two decades, but hopes to downsize to Panorama St Paul’s, 81 Newgate Street.
The new office, which was the former BT head office, has been redeveloped over the past couple of years to improve its environmental credentials and its view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is about half the size of HSBC’s existing office.
“The building is being designed to promote wellbeing and constructed to best-in-class sustainability standards, using predominantly repurposed materials,” the bank said in a memo seen by City AM.
The news was first reported by The Times.
The City of London Corporation’s policy chair, Chris Hayward, said: “HSBC’s decision to return here to the heart of the City of London is a huge vote of confidence for the City.
“This move further solidifies the City’s reputation as a prime destination for financial services firms, offering them unparalleled opportunities,” he continued.
HSBC has looking for alternative offices since September, when it was reported to be reviewing “the best future location in London” for its headquarters. Globally it is aiming to reduce office space by about 40 per cent.
The number of staff coming into the office has not recovered to its pre-pandemic numbers, with HSBC aiming to create a more flexible workspace. At its peak, around 8,000 people came in to its Canary Wharf skyscraper.
The building, which was originally built by Canary Wharf Group, is now owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund which bought it for £1.1bn in 2014.
Canary Wharf faces challenges ahead as it attempts to navigate the shift in work culture and a world of rising interest rates.
As banks consider their future, Canary Wharf has been aiming to attract more life sciences firms. At the end of last year the Canary Wharf Group and Kadans Science Partner submitted applications for a 23-storey tower which would make it the largest life sciences laboratory in Europe.
Genomics England, owned by the Department of Health and Social Care, moved in last year.
Increasingly developers are also trying to make Canary Wharf a more residential area. The estate owner is pushing to bring in more food and drink operators to cater to residents.
HSBC was contacted for comment.