HSBC has said it will cut 8,000 jobs in the UK as part of 25,000 job losses worldwide as it looks to reduce costs.
The cuts will come from both the investment and retail sides of the banking operation and amount to about 10 per cent of the bank’s 266,000 employees.
HSBC has said it needs to slash up to $5 billion (£3.25 billion) of outgoings in the next two years. It will sell operations in Turkey and Brazil as part of the cuts.
The bank will turn its focus to Asia, according to Stuart Gulliver, CEO. "Asia [is] expected to show high growth and become the centre of global trade over the next decade. Our actions will allow us to capture expected future growth opportunities," Gulliver said in a note to Asian investors. HSBC's shares in Hong Kong rose 0.8 per cent on the announcement.
His admission may fuel speculation that HSBC could move is headquarters to Hong Kong. HSBC said in April that it would review its London headquarters. In a report on Tuesday, HSBC said it would reduce the cost of employment partly through the use of 'low cost/high quality locations'.
Unite, which represents thousands of finance workers across the country, said that the cuts show the workforce of banks is being punished for the misconduct of more senior staff. Dominic Hook, the Unite national office for finance, said that the job losses are a 'stab in the back'.
"After all the scandals of recent years, front line staff have suffered time and time again as they are forced to pay for the mistakes of others with their jobs, their terms and conditions and their reputation," Hook said.
He added that Unite was seeking to meet with Antonio Simoes, chief executive of HSBC UK, to demand that job losses managed through voluntary means.