By Jonathan Davies
HSBC is to rename and rebrand its UK branches, even if it decides to keep its headquarters in the country.
The bank, which employs 26,000 people in the UK, will change the name of its retail banking division once it has been legally separated from the overall company.
It means the HSBC brand will no longer appear on the High Street. HSBC has had a presence in the UK since it bought Midland Bank more than 20 years ago. There have been suggestions that its branches could return to the Midland Bank brand, or possibly use First Direct, HSBC's online banking operation.
HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver announced the decision as the company revealed 25,000 job losses, 8,000 of which will come in the UK.
"We will operate with a different brand name, we haven’t decided what it is, we’re going to consult with customers and staff," he said.
By 2019, the Bank of England will have implemented new laws which force the UK's biggest banks to legally separate, or "ring-fence", their customer banking operations from their investment banking divisions.
The new laws are designed to protect customer deposits in the event of another financial crisis. It should result in the government not having to provide bailouts, like it did in 2008 for RBS and Lloyds.