HSBC to reveal cuts plan


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The Independent Online

Britain's biggest bank will this week update shareholders on its strategy to streamline operations that has already seen it reduce headcount by 14,000 in the past year.

Under chief executive Stuart Gulliver, HSBC has been withdrawing from markets where it lacks scale and focusing harder on growth opportunities in Asia.

The bank, which emerged from the credit crunch in better condition than most rivals, will update its plans on Thursday.

Last week HSBC reported a strong first quarter, with pre-tax profits – after excluding an accounting change caused by moves in the value of its own debt – rising by 25 per cent to $6.8bn (£4.2bn). Its investment banking is beginning to show improvement. On the downside, HSBC was forced to increase its provisions for mis-selling payment protection insurance by £290m to £745m.

Mr Gulliver has sold 27 non-core businesses since he took over as the bank's chief at the start of last year.