Contracting at HSBC

HSBC is not just one of the UK’s best-known banks, but also one of the largest banks in the world. With headquarters in London, where it was founded in 1991, and over 1,000 branches all over the country, the bank also has approximately 72,000 offices around the world.

HSBC employs nearly 300,000 people, with around 47,500 of those based in the UK. They provide a range of services which require a variety of staff with different skills, meaning that there are often vacancies for contractors in a number of different departments.

Their Canary Wharf offices alone are home to more than 8,000 staff of which many are on fixed term contracts. From technical staff working on the operational aspects of the business to customer facing roles within the branches, the range of jobs on offer cover a broad range of abilities and disciplines.

Whether you have the experience of working in banking or not, there are plenty of positions available for those with skills in IT, marketing, customer service and human resources, so financial expertise is not essential when applying for a contracting role with HSBC. 

Recruitment at HSBC falls under four general headings: Specialists and Professionals, Call Centre and Support, Graduates and Retail. The organisation has a set of core values which are at the heart of its recruitment process. They expect their employees to be open, connected and dependable, and prospective recruits are assessed for their suitability on each of those criteria. Being able to demonstrate that you personify these characteristics could help your prospects when it comes to landing a role with them.

The recruitment section of HSBC’s website features plenty of information about what they look for in potential candidates, so it is worth browsing the relevant pages if you are considering applying for a role there. The website also includes details about their interview process and the way they expect you to use examples from your previous experience to illustrate your ability to draw on those values in your working life. The website even includes guides on the relevant process involved in the hiring of contractors and permanent staff, from applying to being offered a job.

If you are looking for a job in the financial service sector, then Hays and CityJobs are both specialist recruiters for the industry who have existing relationships with the recruiters at the top banks.

For any contractor, the next important decision to make is whether to use an umbrella company to operate under, or to set themselves up as their own Limited company. For a detailed breakdown, read our Limited vs. Umbrella Guide here, or read our summary below. 

Limited company or Umbrella Company?

As a contractor, consultant or interim, you will need to consider a number of things, such as how long do you plan to be contracting? What is your expected daily rate? Will you have many business expenses?

For most contractors, on the surface, operating through an umbrella company appears to be the easiest way to work. You don’t have to worry about the paperwork involved with tax and invoicing and all your tax and NI is deducted before you receive payment.

However, typically by using an umbrella company, you will only take home, on average, around 60% - 65% of your contract which makes using an umbrella company one of the most expensive ways of contracting. You will receive a salary that is subject to full PAYE Tax and NI and be liable for the same tax as a permanent employee.

Contracting through your own limited company will typically allow you to take home around 75% - 80% of your contract, making this the most tax efficient way of contracting and an option almost any accountant will recommend for those expecting to earn over £25k per year.

Operating through your own limited company does require some additional administration work, but with the support from the right accountant, can take as little as 10 – 15 minutes a month. But for a few minutes a week it is worth it, as our 15,000 contractor clients would agree.

As a limited company you are entitled to a wider range of expenses than you would working for an umbrella company, and have access to the Flat Rate VAT Scheme. The Flat Rate VAT Scheme allows contractors with very few VAT chargeable purchases and expenses, to charge standard VAT onto their invoices but pay back HMRC at a lower rate. This is a great way of maximising your income with minimal extra effort. You may find our Flat Rate VAT Guide useful for more information.

Visit our Company Formation page to start setting up your Limited company, or if you want more information, then our Advantages and Disadvantages of a Limited company page should tell you everything you need to know.

Alternatively, why not speak to a member of our new enquiries team, you can get in touch either by sending an email to or by speaking to a member of our New Business team on 01442 275789. They will go through the process of setting up your Limited company and can give you details of our fully inclusive accountancy package, which covers all your company and personal tax affairs for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. This includes:

  •  Year-end accounts*
  • Corporation tax
  • Payroll bureau
  • Dividend administration
  • Dealing with HM Revenue and Customs and Companies House
  • Quarterly VAT Calculations 
  • Support with Annual Returns
  • Personal Taxation
  • Access to your own dedicated accountant* for all help and advice
  • Free bookkeeping software

Check our packages for more detail.

You can also book a free face to face meeting at a meeting location to suit you. Call our New Business Team on 01442 275789 or email

For all other company guides visit our Becoming a Contractor - Company Guides page here. 

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SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
  • Our Customer Promise. Respond to any question sent to your accountant or any dedicated department within 24 hours.  If we need more time, we will update you as soon as we can and we promise to keep you informed of the progress we are making in answering your question.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email: Our new business team is open Monday to Thursday (8am to 8pm), Friday (8am to 7pm) and Saturday (10am to 4pm)

Appoint SJD Accountancy and never worry about your tax or accountancy affairs again.

Form your own limited company with SJD - our same day online company formation service includes company bank account set up, VAT/PAYE registration and advice on optimum share structure. 

You may also find the following pages, guides and case studies useful:

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.