Fears for 20 jobs as Bibby Financial Services consults on closing Sunderland office

There are fears for more than 20 jobs as a finance company consults on closing its Sunderland office.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 5:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 6:33 am
Tower House, St Catherine's Court, Sunderland Enterprise Park: home to Bibby Financial Services Ltd. Picture by Kevin Brady.

Bibby Financial Services offers financial expertise to small to medium businesses across the country. It has 18 offices around the UK, including one in Sunderland Enterprise Park that has traded at the site for the past 22 years.

The company has already confirmed that its Liverpool office is to close with the loss of 56 jobs.

It is understood that Sunderland staff were informed on January 16 of potential redundancies there too, as part of a “reshaping” of the business.

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Details of any final decisions on the Sunderland office are yet to be announced by the firm, and the timescale for possible redundancies is not known either.

But the company is making efforts to employ staff in other UK locations. However, the nearest other branch to Sunderland is 90 miles away in Leeds.

Other offices include Cardiff, Bristol, Hampshire and Birmingham.

A Bibby spokesperson said: “We are reshaping our business to position ourselves for sustainable growth. This includes reducing our geographical footprint, ensuring that we are located in the right places to support our clients.

“The proposed changes would result in the closure of our Sunderland office and we are committed to working through this in a sensitive way. We do not take redundancies lightly and these proposals involve taking difficult decisions.

“We are currently consulting with impacted colleagues and, where feasible, those affected will be offered commensurate roles in other offices.

“The proposals will not affect our ability to fund existing or indeed future clients in Sunderland. The North East is an important priority for us and that will not change.”

Bibby Financial Services is a 213 year-old organisation, with a global head office in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

It is part of the Bibby Line group, which describes itself as: “A diverse, £800 million global business, operating in 16 countries, employing around 4,000 people in sectors including retail, financial services, distribution, marine and construction equipment hire.”