HSBC Unveils Plans to Trim Global Workforce by 50,000

HSBC's UK operations will be the hardest and earliest hit with 8,000 job cuts.

HSBC has become the latest big name lender to announce a series of drastic changes to its personnel group, portending the elimination of upwards of 50,000 jobs across its global operations, according to an HSBC statement.

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HSBC now joins the growing ranks of lenders, including Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered, and Barclays, among others, that have gutted their workforce. The financial services industry has been hardest hit in the UK, namely London, where the majority of these cuts have occurred, ranging from sales to trading roles.

Regarding HSBC, the impetus behind its cuts has been a bid to trim the bank’s expenses, which it estimates will save it up to $5.0 billion per year. These cuts will include 850 UK IT jobs, part of a broader three-year restructuring plan that will approach a figure of approximately 8,000 positions.

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More specifically, the cuts will be made across HSBC’s London, Sheffield, and Leeds locations, with the majority of the outflow, pegged at roughly 600 jobs, being relegated to Sheffield. HSBC will be shifting a number of these jobs to overseas locations, namely India, China, and Poland, i.e. locations that can better capture lower labor costs and reduce expenses for the lender.

Super Sized Restructuring Plan

These moves are just a fraction of the 8,000 UK jobs HSBC is looking to jettison, though the bank has also unveiled plans to reduce its global workforce by 50,000 by 2017. Such a high degree of turnover will also extend to its overall number of branches, as HSBC sees the closure of up to 12% of its locations, largely part of a shift to online and self-service channels.

In tandem with this move, HSBC has also appropriated $1 billion in investments in digital technologies over the next two years to help mitigate frontline and service roles.

HSBC is also banking on $1 billion in recouped savings given its adjustment to offshore locations, thereby eliminating 750 of its existing 6,700 applications as it migrates to a more cloud-focused model.

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