HSBC Asian hiring drive to add 2,000...

HSBC yesterday said that it aims to increase its headcount in China and Singapore by 2,000 in the next five years.

The hiring drive, which will in part target private bank managers and Islamic finance experts, will have to be counter-balanced by cuts elsewhere as the bank has set a cost reduction target of $2.5-$3.5bn by 2013-2015.

But chief executive Stuart Gulliver has exempted recruitment in Asia from the cost-cutting: “Asia is our heartland and an area where we face significant wage inflation pressures. But this is where the growth is. We’re now working to get a grip on costs but we’re not going to compromise on talent,” he said last week.

In its strategic review last week, the bank said it will shed costs and headcount by reconsidering its presence in 39 countries, with its US retail bank and credit cards business under review for a sale.

The bank has also outlined a target to produce a pre-tax profit of over $1bn each from its presence in India, Singapore and Malaysia/Indonesia.