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TSB to move to Square Mile as staff defy work from home expectations

Sabadell and BBVA previously called off merger talks in November 2020 after disagreeing on the terms and price of the deal.
Sabadell and BBVA previously called off merger talks in November 2020 after disagreeing on the terms and price of the deal.

TSB Banking group is relocating its head office from Gresham Street to a smaller site at Bishopsgate in London’s Square Mile this summer in a bid to lure staff still working from home back to the office.

The downsizing comes as TSB’s current office is understood to often only be 50 per cent to 60 per cent occupied, a situation the chief executive of the British bank, Robin Bulloch, hopes to improve.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Bulloch is said to have told senior staff to be in the office at least a few days per week, and TSB is aiming for staff to be at their desks five days a week.

However, TSB has not made this policy compulsory, fearing the wrath faced by Lloyds bank over its decision to mandate two days a week in the office last year.

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TSB’s shift to Bishopsgate mirrors other major banks. HSBC plans to leave its Canary Wharf headquarters in 2027 for a new location in the City. Lloyds Banking Group is consolidating its office space by moving workers into a refurbished City base later this year.

The controversial work-from-home trend, catalysed by the Covid-19 lockdowns, has drawn criticism from some business leaders and politicians who argue it is weakening productivity and the economy.

On Friday, Wall Street bank Wells Fargo dismissed over a dozen employees for allegedly using mouse ‘simulators’ to fake being at their keyboards. Earlier this year, the Bank of America (BofA) sent “letters of education” to employees threatening disciplinary action if they refuse to come into the office.

A TSB spokesman said: “We’ve made changes to some of our offices to provide more modern collaborative workplaces for colleagues that align to our ways of working model. This includes Birmingham, Barnwood, Swansea and our upcoming move to Bishopsgate, London.”

It comes as TSB’s Spanish parent company, Sabadell, is facing a £10.5bn takeover bid from rival BBVA. TSB was previously listed in London after its spin-off from Lloyds Banking Group before Sabadell’s acquisition in 2015.