HSBC is to resume a massive job cutting programme that was initially put on hold in the early months of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Pre-Covid, HSBC said it planned to axe 35,000 jobs over the next three years as part of a major restructuring effort aimed at achieving £3.6 billion in cost cuts.
HSBC chief Noel Quinn confirmed the pause in the transformation programme during a downbeat Q1 results presentation in April.
But with profits falling and economic forecasts getting grimmer by the day, the bank has reversed its position, outlining plans to resume the job cutting programme in a memo seen by Reuters.
The bank will also maintain a freeze on almost all external recruitment, Quinn said in the memo, which was sent to HSBC’s 235,000 staff worldwide.
“We could not pause the job losses indefinitely - it was always a question of ‘not if, but when’,” Quinn wrote, adding that the measures first announced by HSBC in February were “even more necessary today."
The bulk of the job losses are likely to fall in back office roles in HSBC’s Global Banking and Markets division, which houses its investment banking and trading businesses, a senior HSBC executive familiar with the plans told Reuters.
HSBC has joined the likes of Deutsche bank and Unicredit in pushing ahead with redundancy programmes, having initially put plans on ice in the early days of the outbreak.