HSBC to slash 8,000 jobs

HSBC has announced plans to axe 8,000 jobs in this country and a further 12,000 worldwide in a major cost-cutting drive.

The bank, which currently has around 48,000 employees in the UK, said it is looking to reduce costs by up to $5bn (£3.25bn) a year by 2017 and boost investment in the Far East.

It said the cuts would hit both its retail bank and investment operations.

Chief executive  Stuart Gulliver said: “We recognise that the world has changed and we need to change with it.

“The world is increasingly connected, with Asia expected to show high growth and become the centre of global trade over the next decade. I am confident that our actions will allow us to capture expected future growth opportunities and deliver further value to shareholders.”

After a year of scandals including regulatory fines and allegations of tax avoidance in Switzerland, there has been speculation that HSBC will shift its global headquarters from the UK to Hong Kong. A decision on this will be taken later this year.

In the UK, HSBC said it would be creating a ring-fenced bank, while further afield, assets in Turkey and Brazil will be sold.