HSBC to cut thousands of jobs to control costs after Flint’s exit

by BLOOMBERG / pic by BLOOMBERG

HSBC Holdings Plc confirmed its plans to eliminate jobs, axing more than 4,000 posts and warning that senior executives will be a focus of the cutbacks.

“We expect this year to have $650 million to $700 million of severance costs; that involves less than 2% of our workforce,” chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson said in a call with analysts. “It’s about 4% of our total salary costs, so you should assume from that it is targeted at more senior people in the organisation.”

HSBC is one of several European lenders eliminating roles in recent months, including Barclays Plc and Societe Generale SA. HSBC had 235,217 employees in December 2018, according to its latest annual report.

John Flint, who has abruptly stepped down after an 18-month tenure as chief executive officer, had already started trimming jobs across the group. At the end of April, the bank started a cost review that would lead to job cuts and executives were considering eliminating hundreds of investment banking positions. The reductions were expected to begin at the unit as soon as mid-June and take place over the year, in the latest stage of HSBC’s “Project Oak” cost-cutting program.