HSBC set to cut 2,000 UK jobs


Banking giant HSBC is this week expected to announce some 2,000 UK job cuts as part of a restructuring of its global business.

The axe is expected to fall on nearly 4% of the bank's 52,000-strong UK workforce in a drive to slash costs and help the business react to the tougher climate in the banking industry, including plans for more regulation.

The cuts are part of plans announced by chief executive Stuart Gulliver last year to slash 30,000 jobs, or 10% of the bank's global workforce, by 2013.

The expected announcement would mark the first time the bank has said how the drive will affect its UK business, where it has some 1,290 branches.

HSBC cut 5,000 jobs globally last year, including 700 in the UK.

But Mr Gulliver announced in August that the cuts would go deeper than previously announced, bringing the total to 30,000.

The drive is thought to have saved the bank £2.1 billion last year.

However, at the same time the bank is creating jobs as it expands in other areas such as Asia and Latin America. It already makes 90% of its money outside the UK and there are fears it may move its headquarters from London to Asia.

Banks are battling reduced levels of activity as economies around the world struggle to recover from the financial crisis.

And in the UK banks face tougher regulations after the Government said it would back the Independent Commission on Banking's plans to force banks to separate their retail and investment arms.

Mr Gulliver was recently reported as saying that financial regulations introduced after the banking crisis had wiped some £18 billion from its market value.

He said the Government's new banking levy and suggestions that lenders hold enough cash to absorb a loss of up to 20% of their balance sheets would cost it 2.8 billion US dollars (£1.8 billion) in 2012.

Other banks to have announced redundancies in recent months include taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group, which said it will cut 1,300 jobs and transfer 300 roles to India, while Royal Bank of Scotland is axing 464 posts.

Union Unite has said that since the start of the financial crisis, Lloyds had cut 28,600 workers and RBS around 26,000.