HSBC today said that 1,200 UK jobs were under threat following a review of its business.
The firm, which has around 58,000 staff in the UK, said the cuts would hit backroom areas such as IT and human resources rather than front-line employees in branches.
Managing director Paul Thurston said: “There are difficult decisions that have to be made as we adapt to a new environment and ensure we are well positioned for the future.”
The job losses follow a cull of 1,100 employees at HSBC's investment banking division — including 500 UK staff — last September.
Affected staff were being briefed today, but HSBC said the move would have no impact on its operations within Northern Ireland.
Mr Thurston said the bank “deeply regretted” the move.
He added: “As you would expect, we will do everything we can to help and support those of our colleagues who are affected.”
But he also warned of the turbulent road ahead for the banking sector following last year's near-meltdown.
“The operating environment for banks in the UK is extremely challenging and will remain so for some time,” he said.
As one of the world's strongest banks, HSBC has not needed to call on support from the British taxpayer so far, unlike struggling rivals Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.
But earlier this month the bank called on investors for a UK record £12.5bn in cash to shore up its balance sheet after heavy US losses.
Its pre-tax profits slid to $9.3bn (£6.5bn) in 2008 and it also announced plans to wind down its US consumer lending business in a humiliating reversal of strategy.
HSBC spent $15bn (£10.7bn) on its household business in 2003, but the withdrawal will cost 6,100 jobs as branches close.
In September HSBC announced that it was axing 500 UK posts as a result of the credit crunch.
HSBC has branches in Belfast, Coleraine, Omagh and Portadown and Londonderry, as well as commercial centres in Belfast, Coleraine, Portadown and Omagh.