HSBC to axe 35,000 jobs after profits slump

HSBC is to slash 35,000 jobs worldwide and shed $100 billion of assets, with the investment banking arm expected to be hardest hit by plans to make operations leaner and more focused on growth.

The global banking giant reported profit before tax was down by a third to $13.35 billion in 2019, down from $19.89 billion compared with 2018, with a major restructuring project set to cost around $6 billion in addition to $1.2 billion of assets disposal costs in the next two years.

HSBC Group’s interim chief executive Noel Quinn, said that the restructuring programme is likely to reduce headcount from 235,000 to closer to 200,000 over the next three years.

The bank, which has a major presence in fast growing Asian markets, said it would seek to “grow the parts of the business where we are strongest”. The bank is Europe’s largest in terms of assets, but makes 90 per cent of its profit in Asia.

However, a statement added: “Given the changed economic environment, we must also act decisively to reshape areas of persistent underperformance, particularly in global banking and markets in Europe and the US.”

It said the plan to “simplify” operations would accelerate the pace of change, reduce costs and create a leaner, simpler and more competitive group that delivers higher returns for investors.

Quinn added: “The group’s 2019 performance was resilient, however parts of our business are not delivering acceptable returns.

“We are therefore outlining a revised plan to increase returns for investors, create the capacity for future investment, and build a platform for sustainable growth.”

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