HSBC said Wednesday it is cutting about 3,000 jobs over the next three years in Hong Kong as part of its previously announced global restructuring.
The Hong Kong job cuts are part of the reorganization's first stage, which will also include cuts at operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil, said a spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with company policy.
The British bank said in August that it is cutting 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 -- about 10 percent of its work force -- and selling almost half its retail bank branches in the U.S. to save up to $3.5 billion as part of a plan to focus on fast-growing emerging markets.
HSBC joins other big financial institutions that have announced layoffs this summer including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Bank of America Corp. and others.
Big banks aren't raking in the fat profits they used to earn from large bets on risky trading and complicated investments, which backfired and fueled the global financial crisis. Large shareholders are now pressing for cost cuts to improve returns.
HSBC will try to redeploy some staff to other roles elsewhere in the company so the number of people actually losing their jobs in Hong may be less than 3,000, said the spokeswoman.
She said the job cuts will result in "sustainable cost savings" but would not say how much money would be saved.
"This means we'll make better decisions more quickly that will then mean we can create more business opportunities," the spokeswoman said.
The Hong Kong redundancies would mainly involve back-office managerial positions, local broadcaster RTHK said, citing a memo to employees from the bank's Asia-Pacific chief executive, Peter Wong.
HSBC has 296,000 employees worldwide including 23,000 in Hong Kong.
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