PwC to close six offices as part of restructure

Six of PwC’s offices across the country are to close as part of a restructuring programme that the Big Four firm is undertaking

Offices in Norwich, Liverpool, Sheffield, Dungannon, Plymouth and Swansea will all be closed, affecting 400 of the firm’s 19,000 staff. Nationally, PwC is expanding key regional offices to add a further 1,250 jobs, with 60% of its graduate intake next year expected to be outside London. PwC said there will be 'no negative impact' on partner numbers.

In the case of Sheffield, the office was only opened three years ago. Staff there will now work from the larger Leeds office or remotely.

A new flagship office in Manchester has been opened this week (commencing 20 November 2017) while another in Birmingham will follow in 2019.

It has also undertaken ‘significant expansions’ in Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading, while some smaller offices have merged as part of those expansions.

Many of the affected staff will be able to work remotely or at clients’ offices, the firm said, while others will be transferred to other nearby offices.

The move has been motivated by the changing needs of clients, PwC said, noting services such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and data analytics were not feasible from many of the smaller offices, which often had a narrow offering of expertise.

Jamie Harley, PwC’s spokesman, told CCH Daily: ‘We’re looking to grow our presence outside London to match the footprint of our clients and new opportunities. To do that, we don’t necessarily need and office in every city.

‘In the bigger offices we’re able to build up centres of expertise which we can’t do in quite the same way in smaller offices. At any given time, there are a lot of people out with clients at sites or working elsewhere remotely. The same is true at these smaller offices so the desks aren’t being used a lot of the time, so we don’t need to have physical presence in all of these cities to be serving our clients.’

Report by Calum Fuller

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