HSBC Holdings Plc is considering quitting its global headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf district when its lease expires in early 2027. 

The bank is undertaking a review of the “best future location in London for our global headquarters” as it aims to create a more flexible workspace, according to a memo sent by the bank’s chief operating officer John Hinshaw. Options include renovating the existing building as well as moving to new premises, it said. 

The bank said it will keep its global headquarters in London. The lender is already in the process of reducing its office footprint globally by about 40 per cent from 2019 levels following the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic ushered in a new world of flexible working for the world’s biggest banks that challenged the orthodoxy of vast trading floors with uniform banks of desks. While Wall Street titans including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been clear they want employees back in the office, some European lenders have played up their greater embrace of flexibile working as a point of difference to aid recruitment. 

HSBC moved into the 45-story 8 Canada Square in 2002 when it was completed by Canary Wharf Group. The building, one of the most recognisable skyscrapers in London, is now owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund which bought it for about £1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) in 2014. 

The contents of the memo were reported earlier by Financial News.