Bank of East Asia
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BEA prepares to move 2,000 employees

The relocation of up to 2,000 Bank of East Asia (BEA) back-office staff to Millennium City in Kwun Tong will begin at the end of this year, a bank official said.

The move was expected to be completed by the end of the first half of next year, said BEA head of personal banking Tong Hon-shing. He said market conditions would determine the timing of the disposal of the vacated properties - one each in Kennedy Town and Mongkok and two in Wan Chai.

But analysts question whether the bank may have overestimated the savings from the move.

'While the lower rent might help them save some costs they will also have to take into account depreciation costs,' said UBS co-head of Asian banking research Sally Ng. 'I doubt the savings from this would mean a lot to their balance sheets.'

Mr Tong said BEA was looking to hire an extra 50 sales staff.