Wednesday 22 November 2017

Irish workers in dark as HSBC announces huge job cuts Reporters

HSBC is to shed 25,000 jobs worldwide as it retreats from countries where it is struggling to compete, Europe's biggest bank said today after it reported a surprise rise in first-half profit.

The company has so far refused to comment on how the cuts would impact on jobs in Ireland.

Shares in HSBC rose over 4 per cent after it unveiled first-half pre-tax profits of $11.5 billion, up from $11.1 billion a year ago.

The bank also said it had cut 5,000 jobs following restructuring of operations in Latin America, the United States, Europe and the Middle East and that it would cut another 25,000 between now and 2013.

"There will be further job cuts," chief executive Stuart Gulliver told reporters on a conference call. "There will be something like 25,000 roles eliminated between now and the end of 2013."

The cuts equate to roughly 10 per cent of HSBC's tot al workforce. They come on top of planned reductions in overall headcount in a program of disposals that also forms part of a plan to focus on HSBC's Asian operations.

The bank is reversing a strategy that had been criticized for "planting flags" around the world.

Mr Gulliver's far-reaching plan unveiled three months ago aims to slash costs and he intends to sell, shut or slim down retail banking in 39 countries.

HSBC said yesterday it would sell 195 US branches to First Niagara Financial for about $1 billion in cash, and close another 13 of the 470 sites it had.

The bank also intends to sell HSBC's US credit card portfolio, which has more than $30 billion in assets, a move which would free up capital. Capital One Financial Corp and Wells Fargo are among the bidders, sources have said.

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