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Midland rumour as HSBC makes plans to rebrand in the UK


A branch of HSBC.

A branch of HSBC.

A branch of HSBC.

HSBC's plan to rebrand its UK retail arm will see its name disappear from high streets more than 20 years after it took over the Midland bank, fuelling expectations that the old name will be revived.

The bank has 1,057 branches across Britain, although this network will be impacted by wider group plans to slash the number of sites by an average of 12% in seven key markets, including the UK.

The bank is planning to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK out of 48,000.

The group did not specify UK closures, but the average percentage implied a loss of more than 120 branches.

HSBC, which has its origins in Hong Kong, bought the Midland bank in 1992 when it relocated to London.

Its decision to rename the retail arm of the UK bank - serving members of the public and businesses - will add to speculation that it could sell off the division.

The move comes amid the implementation of new rules drawn up in the wake of the financial crisis designed to "ring-fence" the retail arms of banks from their more risky in vestment operations.