Belfast Telegraph

HSBC planning up to 10,000 jobs cuts

The jobs are expected to be lost across Europe and come on top of 4,700 cuts announced in August.

According to reports, HSBC is looking to cut 10,000 jobs across its workforce (PA)
According to reports, HSBC is looking to cut 10,000 jobs across its workforce (PA)

By August Graham, PA City Reporter

The new chief executive of HSBC is planning a major cost-saving drive which could result in up to 10,000 jobs being cut from the bank’s workforce.

Noel Quinn, who took over on an interim basis in August, is looking to Europe for redundancies among the bank’s approximately 238,000 employees, according to reports.

This would come on top of around 4,700 job cuts which the London-headquartered bank announced in August.

Noel Quinn, interim chief executive, is planning his first big test since taking the new job. (HSBC/PA)

“We’ve known for years that we need to do something about our cost base, the largest component of which is people – now we are finally grasping the nettle,” one source told the Financial Times, which first reported this story.

However, the bank is not looking to cut back its high-growth business in parts of Asia where staff are generating revenue. The region accounts for almost 80% of profits.

“There’s some very hard modelling going on. We are asking why we have so many people in Europe when we’ve got double-digit returns in parts of Asia,” the source said.

It would be the most ambitious cost-saving plan the bank has embarked on for years.

HSBC declined to comment when contacted by PA.

Union Unite said it was “appalled” by reports of job losses and said it has raised the question with the banks’s management.

“These stories of massive job losses require a comprehensive response by HSBC in order to reassure the workforce. This is a highly inappropriate way for staff to learn about any possible changes within the business and Unite will be holding the bank to account,” national officer Dominic Hook said.

It comes as several global banks have been scaling back their workforces. Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Societe Generale and Citigroup have all announced job cuts this year.

In August, HSBC said it would target high-paid staff in a round of cuts, meaning a 2% reduction in numbers would reduce the wage bill by 4%. The bank is understood to be pursuing the same strategy this time.

It would affect “most parts of the bank”, chief finance officer Ewen Stevenson said at the time.

The bank was expected to pay between 650 million dollars (£527 million) and 700 million dollars in severance costs for the staff members being let go.