The total number of cuts equates to nearly ten per cent of the bank’s 266,000 workforce – 48,000 employees are in the UK.
The bank has just unveiled its new plan to improve profits. Other measures taken include selling its underperforming operations in Brazil and Turkey, with hundreds of branches being sold in seven major markets. The bank employs around 25,000 in those two countries, which could see the bank planning to cut its numbers by as many as 50,000.
Chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who took up his role in 2011, has cut the total headcount from 296,000 to 257,000 so far – with the new plan laying out a further series of reductions.
Dominic Hook, Unite’s national officer for finance, said it was disappointing to see employees take the force of the changes. “After all the scandals of recent years, staff have suffered time and time again as they are forced to pay for the mistakes of others with their jobs, their terms and conditions and their reputation,” he said.
HSBC also said it would reduce its risk-weighted assets by at least 25 per cent and improve profits at its trading division, Global Banking & Markets, by making sure the division’s risk-weighted assets were no more than a third of the entire bank’s, as opposed to the current 45 per cent.
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The bank recently launched a new £8bn fund for Britain’s small businesses, across 43 areas of the country, though it is still discussing whether to move its headquarters from the UK back to Hong Kong.
While outlining his plan to shareholders, Gulliver also provided insight as to how the bank will decide whether to make the move and what criteria it would be using. This included the “ability to attract and retain top talent” and the tax system and government policy in support of “growth and development” of the financial services sector. A decision is going to be made by the end of the year and will be put to shareholders if necessary.
Gulliver said: “HSBC has an unrivalled global position: access to high growth markets; a diversified universal banking model with strong funding and a low risk profile; and strong internal capital generation with industry leading dividends.”
He added that: “We recognise the world has changed and we need to change with it.”
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