HSBC is to cut 30,000 workers as it pulls out of countries where it is struggling to compete.
Five thousand jobs are already going following restructuring of operations in Latin America, the United States, Britain, France and the Middle East and it will cut another 25,000 over the next two years.
At the same time Europe’s biggest bank posted an unexpected rise in first-half pretax profit of eight billion euros.
The cuts equate to roughly 10 percent of HSBC’s total workforce. They come on top of reductions resulting from a programme of disposals that also forms part of a plan to focus on HSBC’s Asian operations.
HSBC said many of the losses would come through natural wastage rather than enforced redundancies and some of the impact would be offset by creating jobs elsewhere, with new ones already in Asia, Brazil and Mexico in the first half of the year. But Britain’s Unite trade union called the restructuring there “brutal”.
The bank indicated that the geographical spread of its cut backs would be less radical than first envisaged. It now aims to shut or sell retail operations in 20 countries. In May, it had said it would be leaving 39 countries but has so far only closed in Russia and Poland and shrunk its business in the United States.