HSBC restarts plans to axe 35,000 jobs worldwide

Banking giant HSBC is to resume its plan to cut around 35,000 jobs worldwide after putting the redundancy programme on hold amid the coronavirus crisis.

In an internal memo to staff, chief executive Noel Quinn said the cuts first announced in February are “even more necessary today” as the group faces “challenging times ahead”.

He said the group will also freeze the “vast majority” of external recruitment and look to redeploy affected staff where possible.

Mr Quinn told employees: “We could not pause the job losses indefinitely – it was always a question of ‘not if, but when’.”

HSBC announced in February that it was expecting to slash its 235,000-strong workforce to around 200,000 over the next three years as part of a wider restructuring to save £3.6 billion in costs.

It did not give a breakdown of where the jobs would go, but at the time it said there would be “meaningful” cuts in the UK, where the bank employs around 40,000 people.

The group then paused the plans in April as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world.

Mr Quinn said in the memo: “I wish I could say that the next few months will see a return to normality, but that is unlikely to be the case.

“You will have seen that our profits fell in the first quarter and virtually all economic forecasts point to challenging times ahead.

“The reality is that the measures and the change we announced in February are even more necessary today.”

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