HSBC revives plan for 35,000 jobs cuts delayed by coronavirus pandemic

HSBC had postponed its planned job cuts, part of a wider restructuring to cut $4.5 billion in costs, in March. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 June 2020

HSBC revives plan for 35,000 jobs cuts delayed by coronavirus pandemic

  • Bank will also maintain a freeze on almost all external recruitment
  • HSBC had postponed the job cuts, part of a wider restructuring to cut $4.5 billion in costs, in March

LONDON: HSBC is resuming a redundancy plan it put on ice after the coronavirus outbreak, and will cut around 35,000 jobs over the medium term, a memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.
The bank will also maintain a freeze on almost all external recruitment, Chief Executive Noel Quinn said in the memo, which was sent to HSBC’s 235,000 staff worldwide.
“We could not pause the job losses indefinitely — it was always a question of ‘not if, but when’,” Quinn said, adding that the measures first announced by HSBC in February were “even more necessary today.”
A bank spokeswoman confirmed the contents of the memo.
HSBC had postponed the job cuts, part of a wider restructuring to cut $4.5 billion in costs, in March saying the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic meant it would be wrong to push staff out.
Quinn said it now has to resume the program as profits fall and economic forecasts point to a challenging time ahead, adding that he had asked senior executives to look at ways to cut more costs in the second half of the year.
The bulk of the job losses are likely to fall in back office roles in HSBC’s Global Banking and Markets division, which houses its investment banking and trading businesses, a senior HSBC executive familiar with the plans said.
HSBC sees natural attrition of up to 25,000 roles each year but redeploying all affected staff to those roles was unrealistic, the executive said.
Shares in HSBC have fallen 27 percent since the start of March, with the pandemic prompting it to set aside $3 billion in bad loan provisions in its first quarter earnings.
Under the initial plan, HSBC said it would merge its private banking and wealth business, pare back its European equity business and reduce its US retail network.


Scammers fool Britons with investment firm clones, says trade body

Updated 26 min 14 sec ago

Scammers fool Britons with investment firm clones, says trade body

  • Losses amounted to 9.4 million pounds ($12.56 million) between March and mid-October

LONDON: More than 200 British retail investors have lost nearly 10 million pounds ($13.4 million) in total to sophisticated investment scams since a government lockdown in March to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a trade body said on Saturday.
Fraudsters cloned genuine investment management firms’ websites and documentation, and advertised fake products on sham price comparison websites and on social media, the Investment Association said.
Greater financial uncertainty and more time spent online have likely contributed to the increase in scams, industry sources say.
Losses amounted to 9.4 million pounds ($12.56 million) between March and mid-October, the IA said, based on information it got from member firms which had been cloned.
“In a year clouded in uncertainty, organized criminals have sought opportunity in misfortune by attempting to con investors out of their hard-earned savings,” Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association said.
The investment management industry was working closely with police and regulators to stop the scams, he added.
Britain’s Action Fraud warned earlier this month that total reported losses from all types of investment fraud came to 657 million pounds between September 2019 and September 2020, a rise of 28% from a year ago. Reports spiked between May and September, following Britain’s first national lockdown, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting center added.