Fears for Sheffield jobs as HSBC announces plans to axe 35,000 workers

There are fears for jobs in Sheffield after banking giant HSBC announced plans to axe 35,000 workers.
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The boss of HSBC has announced the bank’s biggest change in years, as it prepares to reduce its headcount by 35,000 worldwide.

Interim chief executive Noel Quinn said the workforce will reduce from 235,000 to 200,000 over the next three years – a reduction of almost 15 per cent.

HSBC has announced plans to axe 35,000 jobs around the world (Pic: PA)HSBC has announced plans to axe 35,000 jobs around the world (Pic: PA)
HSBC has announced plans to axe 35,000 jobs around the world (Pic: PA)
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The bank has a large presence in Sheffield and opened new £90 million offices on The Moor last summer.

The move comes as HSBC plans to slash more than £77 billion from the bank's risk-weighted assets.

Banks must hold capital against assets, such as loans, based on their riskiness, so that they can take the blow if the asset is lost.

HSBC has reported a 33 per cent fall in pre-tax profit for 2019 to £10.2 billion, which is below analysts' expectations.

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“This arose from an update to long-term economic growth assumptions, which impacted a number of our businesses,” HSBC's annual results statement said.

The company warned that the outbreak of coronavirus had caused ‘significant disruption’ for its business, especially in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Its headquarters are in London but almost half its revenue and nearly 90 per cent of profit came from Asia in 2018.

HSBC said coronavirus might push down lending and transactions in the region, which could reduce its revenue.

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It lowered its outlook for the overall Asian economy in 2020, mainly in the first quarter.

Mr Quinn said: “The group's 2019 performance was resilient. However, parts of our business are not delivering acceptable returns.”

The business said it is still looking for a full-time boss to replace Mr Quinn, and hopes to do so within the next six to 12 months.

The HSBC statement also addressed Brexit, saying: “Now that the UK has officially left the EU, negotiations can begin on their future relationship.

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“This has provided some certainty, but no trade negotiation is ever straightforward. It is essential that the eventual agreement protects and fosters the many benefits that financial services provide to both the UK and the EU.”

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