The Covid-19 pandemic looks set to throw HSBC's massive restructuring and job cutting programme into limbo, according to the Financial Times.
In February, with profits plunging, HSBC announced plans to slash 35,000 jobs and reduce the size of its branch network by a third as part of an effort to cut costs by $4.5 billion a year by the end of 2022.
However, if the Covid-19 outbreak continues to get worse, the restructuring timetable will have to be changed, says the FT, citing sources.
The bank is reluctant to make employees redundant during such an uncertain time and when many staffers are also working from home.
In addition, plans to exit unprofitable client relationships may need to be shelved during a period when regulators are calling on banks to help firms hit by Covid-19.
HSBC is also hesitant about ditching clients without meeting them face-to-face - something which the virus is preventing.
HSBC is not alone. Other global banks such as UBS, BNP Paribas, and Duetshce Bank are also under pressure to reverse planned job cuts and massive resturucting plans in the face of the global pandemic.