More than 10,000 jobs could be lost at HSBC as the global bank embarks on a cost-cutting exercise, according to a report in the Financial Times (FT).
HSBC currently employs around 238,000 but, according to the FT, a reduction in headcount is long overdue.
"We've known for years that we need to do something about our cost base, the largest component of which is people - now we are finally grasping the nettle," said an unnamed source.
In addition, the bank has a new interim chief executive, Noel Quinn, who replaced John Flint in August. Upon Quinn's appointment, the bank said that it needed to make a change at the top to address a "challenging global environment". It now looks like Quinn is attmepting to make his mark.
Furthermore, it is reported that Flint's hesitation in redcucing the bank's workforce was a reason for his departure.
There are few details as yet as to where the cuts will be made and HSBC has made no official comment. But reported comments suggest that the focus will be on high-paid jobs and management roles rather than the numerous back-office and IT roles.
There are also suggestions that there will be more job losses in Europe rather than Asia where growth is still in double digits despite the ongoing threat of a US-China trade war and civil unrest in Hong Kong, its main Asian market.
Despite the notion that the job cuts are overdue, HSBC has announced similar plans in the past. In 2011, the new chief executive of the time, John Gulliver, spoke of cutting 30,000 jobs over three years in order to save $3.5 billion in costs.
Andf earlier this year, HSBC announced plans to cut 4,700 jobs. It is believed that the latest round of cuts will come on top of this figure. An official announcement is expected to be made after the bank annoucnes its third quarter results later this month.
HSBC is not alone in facing cost pressure and planning to reduce headcount. Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Societe Generale have all made similar moves this year.