HSBC axes thousands of jobs as profit hits £6.9bn

HSBC has confirmed that it plans to axe up to 30,000 staff worldwide while announcing that half year profits were up seven per cent to £6.9bn.

It said that growth across the US and Europe is likely to remain 'sluggish' with concerns that UK regulatory moves may contribute to slow growth.

The bank also said it had cut 5,000 jobs following restructuring of operations in Latin America, the United States, Britain, France and the Middle East and that it would cut another 25,000 between now and 2013.

"There will be further job cuts," chief executive Stuart Gulliver said. "There will be something like 25,000 roles eliminated between now and the end of 2013."

The cuts equate to roughly 10 per cent of HSBC's total workforce. They come on top of planned reductions in overall headcount in a program of disposals that also forms part of a plan to focus on HSBC's Asian operations.

The bank is reversing a strategy that had been criticized for "planting flags" around the world.

Gulliver's far-reaching plan unveiled three months ago aims to slash costs and he intends to sell, shut or slim down retail banking in 39 countries.