HSBC cuts jobs to focus on Asia
HSBC Holdings, Europe’s largest bank by market value, will cut up to 25,000 jobs globally to reduce costs and shift its center of gravity further toward the fast-growing Asian economies where it started out 150 years ago.
The London-based group, which is worth $184 billion, about the same as U.S. giant Bank of America, said Tuesday that it is “redeploying resources to capture expected future growth opportunities.”
Though it has not yet decided whether to move its headquarters, the bank is clear on where it thinks its commercial future lies — China and the Asia-Pacific region.
The bank wants to capitalize on Asia’s rapidly expanding class of newly wealthy.
Many Western banks have sought to bolster operations in Asia, but HSBC has the advantage of already having a major presence there. About 75% of its 2014 profit was generated in the region, even though it has only about a third of its staff there and its assets are dwarfed by those it controls in Europe.
HSBC was founded in Hong Kong in 1865 to finance growing trade between China and Europe, much of it involving opium. Its original name: Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp.
HSBC, which has operations in more than 70 countries and about 51 million customers, aims to cut costs by $4.5 billion to $5 billion by the end of 2017 and reduce the number of full-time employees by about 10%, or between 22,000 and 25,000.