HSBC is planning to cut up to 10,000 jobs, as the banking group seeks to rein in costs and boost growth, the Financial Times reported.
The lender will see "a substantial reduction" in its headcount as a result of new plans from interim boss Noel Quinn, according to the FT, which reported that any cuts from the new plan would come on top of the 4,700 redundancies it has already announced.
The cuts will affect mostly high-paid roles and come as the UK-based bank grapples with falling interest rates, Brexit and global tariff wars. Europe may bear the brunt of the initiative.
We've known for years that we need to do something about our cost base, the largest component of which is people - now we are finally grasping the nettle"
Interim chief executive of the bank, Noel Quinn, is working on a plan with Ewen Stevenson, HSBC's chief financial officer, who substantially lowered costs when he held the same role at Royal Bank of Scotland.
Quinn was appointed as the interim chief executive in August following the exit of his predecessor John Flint, who was dismissed in part because he avoided "difficult decisions" on job cuts, the FT reported.
Quinn and Stevenson are said to be trying to find savings in each of the bank's four major divisions, which service multinational corporations, smaller businesses, retail customers and wealthy people.
"We've known for years that we need to do something about our cost base, the largest component of which is people - now we are finally grasping the nettle," a source briefed on the matter told the Financial Times.
"There's some very hard modelling going on. We are asking why we have so many people in Europe when we've got double-digit returns in parts of Asia."
The job reductions could be formally announced when HSBC reports third-quarter results at the end of this month. It made pretax profits of $12.4bn (£10.1bn) in the first half, up 16% year on year. HSBC declined to comment.
The latest reduction in headcount comes amid slowdown in the global economy due to trade tensions, Brexit uncertainty as well as negative or low interest rates that are impacting revenues of banks. In August German lender Deutsche Bank revealed plans to cut 18,000 jobs across its global offices. France's Société Générale is laying off 1,600 people.