Europe's largest bank, HSBC, has begun slashing one fifth of its workforce
The first to go are British workers, nearly 850 of them, a total of 8,000 redundancies will be made in the UK. The bank says it's just part of a restructuring plan.
Jeremy Batstone-Carr, Chief Economist at Charles Stanley, said: "The banks themselves have been warning that negative interest rates in the euro zone and Japan are pressurising their businesses. This may well prompt an increase in the pace of the restructure and they are certainly getting on with it with a substantial number of staff lay-offs worldwide. HSBC is just the most recent."
Most staff affected by the cuts were told on Monday. The majority are IT roles.
The bank unveiled its three-year restructuring plan last year, designed to pare back its sprawling global network.
Reuters UK banking correspondant, Lawrence White, said: "Investors will be cheered the bank is delivering on the cost-cutting that it said it would do."
But that is what trade union Unite has called ruthless and reckless, HSBC's shares have fallen twenty percent this year as the lender seeks to weather a storm in the global markets.