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HSBC to cut 15 percent of global workforce as profits fall by a third

HSBC has announced plans to cut around 35,000 jobs after its profits fell 33 percent during 2019.

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The bank is aiming for savings of $4.5bn (£3.5bn) by 2022 as it looks to undertake its third restructuring project in 10 years.

 

It reported its annual profit before tax fell to $13.35bn by December 31, 2019, mainly due to write-offs of $7.3bn related to its investment and commercial operations in Europe.

 

Around $3.4bn of lending was in forbearance in the UK at the end of 2019, it said, down from $3.6bn the year before, while $4.1bn was in forbearance in Europe at the same time, down from $4.5bn in 2018.

 

HSBC added its search for a new chief executive is “ongoing”, but it expects to stick to its timeframe and make an appointment within the six-to-12 months initially outlined.

 

Noel Quinn, interim group chief executive, said: “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. We have already begun to implement this plan, which my management team and I are committed to executing at pace.”

 

The bank confirmed that, as part of its restructuring plans, it would make cutbacks to its European and US investment banking businesses, particularly the most capital-intensive product lines.

 

“We intend to focus our UK investment banking activities on supporting UK mid-market clients and international corporate clients through our London hub,” its statement to market said. “We also intend to reduce our sales and trading and equity research in Europe and transition our structured products capabilities from the UK to Asia.”

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