HSBC cuts jobs in France

HSBC set out sweeping cuts to headcount in its French business yesterday as part of a cost-cutting drive outlined by chief executive Stuart Gulliver.

HSBC France said it would cut 672 employees from its 10,150-strong workforce by 2014 to create a leaner and faster-growing operation.

The cuts would be through natural turnover without compulsory redundancies, it said in a presentation. It follows plans to cut 700 UK jobs and stands in stark contrast to its target of adding 2,000 new staff in China and Singapore in the next five years.

The plan aims to improve HSBC France’s cost efficiency ratio to 62-64 per cent, from the 71 per cent seen in 2010, and raise its return on equity to the group level of 12-15 per cent, from the current 8.4 per cent. It also aims to improve its ratio of loans to deposits, which languishes at 133 per cent, below the group average of 80-85 per cent.

The plan also aims to grow and strengthen the commercial banking operation, consolidate its global banking division and accelerate growth in its private banking arm.