HSBC to axe up to 10,000 staff, weeks after CEO quit
Latest cuts are part of a fresh cost-cutting drive by new boss Noel Quinn as the banking titan struggles to adjust to falling interest rates, Brexit and the trade war
Hong Kong — HSBC is planning to lay off up to 10,000 staff, a report on Monday reads, just weeks after its CEO stepped down and announced the axing of 4,000 posts citing a weak global outlook.
The latest cuts, mostly in high-paid roles, are part of a fresh cost-cutting drive by new boss Noel Quinn as the banking titan struggles to adjust to falling interest rates, Brexit and the long-running trade war, the Financial Times reported.
“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,” the paper quoted an unnamed source as saying.
“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.
The London-headquartered bank announced in September the shock exit of CEO John Flint after just 18 months in the hot seat but gave no reason for the decision.
It simultaneously revealed it would axe 2% of its global workforce, or about 4,000 mostly management jobs, in a new restructuring aimed at weathering the global turmoil.
Still, its reported first-half net profit rose 18.6% year-on-year to $8.5bn.
It is due to report third-quarter earnings at end-October.
The cost-cutting drive is in line with other lenders who are battling global headwinds.
US banks including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have lowered their 2019 profit forecasts tied to interest rates as central banks globally loosen monetary policy in response to a weakening global growth outlook.
Lower interest rates mean less profit on loans made by the banks, especially if they have offered higher returns on deposits to attract customers.
And in September Germany’s second-largest lender Commerzbank said it plans to cut the equivalent of 4,300 full-time posts — a tenth of its workforce — and shut 200 branches as it restructures.
Deutsche Bank has announced 18,000 job cuts and France’s Societe Generale 1,600.