Exclusive: Investment bankers latest target of HSBC layoffs in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 6:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 October, 2012, 9:05pm

HSBC quietly laid off some of its investment bankers in Hong Kong on Monday, as Europe’s biggest lender by assets continued to trim its non-traditional banking business, thanks to disappointing markets this year.

People familiar with the matter told the South China Morning Post that the London-headquartered bank has targeted a handful of middle-ranking executives in areas that the bank no longer considers a business focus.

Most of them were let go with severance packages equal to at least three months' salary, said the people, who declined to be identified because the staff cuts haven’t been announced.

An HSBC spokesman declined to comment.

In August last year, HSBC, the No 1 lender in Hong Kong, announced it would sell off non-core businesses and cut 30,000 jobs, or 10 per cent of its workforce, globally as part of plans to save US$3.5 billion a year in costs.

But this latest round of layoffs in HSBC’s investment-banking division in Hong Kong is separate from that global plan, the Hong Kong portion of which the bank said in late July had been completed.  One person said the latest cuts on Monday are considered to be a “housekeeping thing” before the end of the year and largely reflect weak demand in certain business lines.

In the first half of this year there had been a net reduction of 5,800 HSBC employees in the Asia-Pacific region, including a net reduction of 1,000 employees in Hong Kong. The number included those laid off as well as some employees who had left voluntarily.

For more details on this exclusive story, please read Tuesday's South China Morning Post or visit