HSBC, Europe's largest bank by assets, is ready to enact its plans to cut 35,000 jobs having paused much of its overhaul during the covid-19 pandemic.
According to Reuters, the UK-based bank's new CEO, Noel Quinn, has sent a memo to HSBC's 235,000 employees around the world outlining the renewed plan. The BBC, which has seen the memo, said some of the cuts are likely to come from the merging of the bank's commercial and investment arms.
At the same time a freeze on all external hiring has been put in place across all HSBC's markets.
I wish I could say that the next few months will see a return to normality but that is unlikely to be the case. We could not pause the job losses indefinitely – it was always a question of 'not if but when'."
In the memo to all staff worldwide, Quinn wrote: "I wish I could say that the next few months will see a return to normality but that is unlikely to be the case. We could not pause the job losses indefinitely - it was always a question of 'not if but when'."
The overhaul, seen as the biggest in the bank's 165-year history, was first announced in February, before the covid-19 outbreak took hold.
Some under-performing markets, including Malta, France and the US, are currently either under review or already up for sale.
Before the financial crisis of 2008, HSBC employed more than 300,000 people around the world.
The cuts are part of a wider overhaul aimed at saving $4.5bn of cost cuts by 2022.
The bank is under increasing pressure from shareholders to improve its underlying performance, while in its core market of China it finds itself caught between Hong Kong and Beijing and the struggle for the territory's future. Last week the bank joined its rival Standard Chartered in lending its support to the Chinese government's controversial new law for Hong Kong, a move that has drawn widespread criticism from Western governments.