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HSBC to send home 50,000 employees

Staff writer |
HSBC Holdings said it will cut its risk-weighted asset base by $290 billion and sell off its units in Brazil and Turkey.

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The company seeks to cut costs and achieve a return on equity of more than 10% by 2017. HSBC made the announcement in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange shortly ahead of an investor update on its overhaul, slated for Tuesday afternoon in Hong Kong.

HSBC said it would reduce its head count by 50,000 as part of a global overhaul to improve the profitability of its sprawling operations. The job cuts would reduce the workforce at Europe's largest bank by about 10%. HSBC had 258,000 full-time employees as of December 2014.

"In parallel, HSBC intends to accelerate investments in Asia," with a particular focus on China and Southeast Asia. HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver was also cited in the statement as saying the lender would set up a U.K. ring-fenced bank and find $4.5 billion to $5 billion in cost savings to deliver flat costs by the end of 2017.

As for long-discussed plans to move HSBC's group headquarters from London to Hong Kong, Gulliver was cited as saying the review of the issue would be completed by the end of this year.

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