HSBC is gearing up to cut hundreds of jobs in its investment banking division as part of a cost cutting drive.
At least 500 people at the bank could lose their job within global banking and markets, but formal numbers have yet to be announced.
The cuts are expected to start as soon as mid-June, and to take place over the rest of 2019. The global banking and markets division at the bank employs around 48,500 people.
They come amid sweeping job reductions across the firm, and are reportedly part of a wide plan nicknamed Project Oak. The project is designed specifically to allow various divisions to transfer the immediate costs of making people redundant to the HSBC parent company, rather than shouldering the burden themselves.
“Business and function lines constantly re-evaluate their needs to ensure they have the right roles in the right locations,” HSBC said in a statement.
Shares in HSBC jumped on the news, but settled back to 0.3 per cent down this afternoon.
Chief executive John Flint has focused on keeping the top line growing faster than expenses since he took control at the bank last year. He reportedly rebuked senior managers for missing cost targets in March.
HSBC reported a 31 per cent jump in pre-tax profits for the first quarter early this month as it cut costs and its revenues in Asia grew. It made $6.2bn (£4.8bn) in the three months to March, up on $4.8bn the previous year.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
Boosting staff in Asia
Yesterday, it emerged the bank is planning to boost staff numbers in its Asia retail wealth management division by about 300 by the end of this year.
It will increase the number of wealth management staff working in Singapore by 50. HSBC’s wealth business in Singapore is smaller than its presence in China and Hong Kong.
HSBC is also planning to increase its insurance distribution and product offerings in Hong Kong, China and Singapore.
“It’s fair to say that our entire business in Singapore underperformed, and we haven’t hidden from that fact,” Kevin Martin, Asia Pacific head of retail banking and wealth management told Reuters yesterday.