HSBC signals mass job cuts as profits plunge

HSBC has said it will axe around 35,000 jobs as it announced profits for 2019 fell by about a third.

That has spurred the bank to target $4.5bn (£3.5bn) of cost cuts by 2022 as part of a major restructuring.

The bank’s interim chief executive, Noel Quinn, said HSBC would scale back its headcount from 235,000 to about 200,000 over the next three years.

HSBC, which makes the bulk of its revenue in Asia, reported annual profit before tax of $13.35bn (£10.3bn).

It said the fall in profits was mainly due to $7.3bn in write-offs related to its investment and commercial banking operations in Europe.

The 35,000 job losses are deeper than expected, and represent about 15% of the workforce. Analysts had expected about 10,000 jobs to be cut.

The bank currently operates in more than 50 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It employs more than 40,000 people in the UK, where it has its headquarters.

HSBC’s global headquarters in Canary Wharf

About 10,000 of those are based at its head office in Canary Wharf in London, and another 2,000 work at its new UK head office in Birmingham.

HSBC has said some of the cutbacks will be in its European and US investment banking businesses, although it has not been specific about where the job cuts will fall.

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