HSBC Holdings Plc has restarted cutting as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul to boost profitability. “Since February we have pressed forward with some aspects of our transformation program, but we now need to look to the long term and move ahead with others, including reducing our costs,” as stated by Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn.
The bank joins rivals such as Deutsche Bank AG and UniCredit SpA in forging ahead with job cuts that were put on hold at the outset of the pandemic. HSBC is also grappling with heightened global tensions, as its support for China’s planned Hong Kong security law opened up fault lines in its key market.
In February, Quinn unveiled a restructuring that involved lowering the sprawling global lender’s 235,000-strong workforce by about 35,000 over the next three years. The lender is targeting cost reductions of $4.5 billion at underperforming units.
Europe and the U.S. are expected to face the brunt of the cuts as HSBC attempts to turn around its businesses in regions where it has struggled to make money. The lender’s global banking and markets business, which houses its corporate advisory unit, is expected to face significant reductions in areas such as equities sales and trading.
As part of the revamp HSBC has said it will reduce gross risk-weighted assets by more than $100 billion, or about 12%, by the end of 2022, with much of this expected to come from winding down parts of its investment bank.
HSBC is also eyeing the sale of some of its businesses and is already looking for a buyer for its French retail operations, the disposal of which would take several thousand staff off its payroll.
News Source: Bloomberg Quint