HSBC to Slash 1,149 UK Jobs in Latest Round of Cutbacks


HSBC is cutting 1,149 jobs in Britain in another round of redundancies to save money and slim down Europe's biggest bank.

These are part of a 3-year revival plan by Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver to reduce costs, raise returns and focus on profitable areas.

Banks across the world are shedding thousands of staff to try to increase profitability, improve technology and cope with tougher regulations brought in after the financial crisis.

In Britain, banks have axed thousands of jobs in response to new rules on how they sell investment products. HSBC said on Tuesday the latest cuts reflected the changing nature of customer behavior and regulation. The bank said its changes mean customers will have a single advisor for their banking and wealth management.

HSBC said 3,166 UK jobs would be affected by the latest plans, but the bank expects to redeploy just over 2,000 of the staff. It adds to 2,200 UK job cuts made a year ago.

The bank employs just over 47,000 staff in Britain, or about 40,000 excluding its investment bank and head office.

The cuts will mostly come from wealth management, where the bank said it is shifting advisors into its consumer retail banking business from June. Some 942 relationship management roles will go, including commercial banking financial advisor positions.

Gulliver has cut 34,500 global jobs since taking over in early 2011, or 12% of staff, which has slashed annual costs by $3.6 billion. He is expected to say next month he is targeting another $1 billion of annual savings, which could result in another 5,000 redundancies this year, analysts estimated.

The latest round of cuts will also affect staff in support roles and commercial banking, where HSBC said it is cutting the number of business specialist roles and increasing the number of international business managers.

Gulliver has axed jobs across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, excluding Hong Kong. He said he expected to shed 30,000 jobs by taking out bureaucracy and underperforming businesses when he laid out a three-year revival plan in May 2011, but said he also wanted to add 15,000 in faster growing areas.

Although he has surpassed his target to slice $3.5 billion off annual expenses, costs accounted for 62.8% of income last year, well above another target to get that ratio below 52%.