LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC is preparing to lay off dozens of staff in its global banking and markets business, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: HSBC’s building in Canary Wharf is seen behind a City of London sign outside Billingsgate Market in London, Britain, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
The British bank, which is conducting a cost-cutting drive aimed at protecting its dividend, declined to comment on the redundancies, which will mainly impact sales and advisory staff.
Those affected will be informed this week, the source said.
The cuts follow several weeks of performance reviews and planning for 2019 by the bank’s senior management team, which was recently joined by former Royal Bank of Scotland executive Ewen Stevenson as its new chief financial officer.
The source, who declined to be named, said entire sales teams had been axed, with some members of staff leaving the bank’s London headquarters in Canary Wharf on Tuesday.
The cuts follow a turbulent period for the global banking and markets division, which houses HSBC’s trading and investment banking businesses.
The investment bank suffered an exodus of high-profile dealmakers in Europe last year, amid what sources said was frustration at a lack of a clear strategy.
HSBC has since made some senior hires from rivals, including former JPMorgan banker Greg Guyett as co-head of global banking, and former Goldman Sachs banker Peter Enns as the global head of its financial institutions group.
None of the bank’s identified areas for growth in its most recent strategy update last June mentioned the trading business, with Chief Executive John Flint more focused on its traditional strengths of corporate and retail banking.
Flint said HSBC would focus on making sure revenues grow faster than costs, as the bank seeks to improve its return on equity to above 11 percent by 2020 from 6.8 percent in 2017.
Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Lawrence White, Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Alexander Smith