HSBC to cut 35,000 jobs over falling profits

Coronavirus creating significant disruption for bank’s staff, suppliers, and customers, says chief executive

U.K.-based financial group HSBC plans to cut its staff from 235,000 to 200,000 worldwide due to profit losses related to the coronavirus outbreak and protests in Hong Kong, it announced Tuesday.

HSBC’s performance last year was “resilient” and it decided to revise its plans to boost returns and sustainable growth, Noel Quinn, the group’s chief executive, said in the bank’s annual report.

“Reported profit attributable to ordinary shareholders down 53% to $6 billion,” the report noted.

Quinn said the bank aims to cut operating costs 10-15% and focus on mobile clients, digital investments and unsecured lending.

In an interview with Financial Times, Quinn said bank plans to shed 35,000 jobs over the next three years.

Quinn noted in the report: “Since the start of January, the coronavirus outbreak has created significant disruption for our staff, suppliers and customers, particularly in mainland China and Hong Kong.”

He added: “Group reported profit before tax was down 33% compared with 2018, due to a goodwill impairment of $7.3 billion.”

He said the bank also wants to reduce gross risk-weighted assets by $100 billion and also cut costs by $4.5 billion within three years.

Mark Tucker, the group’s chairman, also pointed the finger at protests in Hong Kong in the report, saying: “Social unrest in Hong Kong has weighed on the local economy and caused significant disruption.”

Anadolu Agency

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