HSBC, a top tier financial institution the world over, has unveiled a complete overhaul of its global business. The cutbacks come as profits for 2019 fell by 33%, mainly due to HSBC’s investment and commercial banking operations in Europe. The bank said it was targeting $4.5bn (£3.5bn) of cost cuts by 2022 while scaling back $100bn (£70bn) of assets.
Currently operating in more than 50 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It employs more than 235,000 people around the world, with more than 40,000 based in the UK.
HSBC said the drop in profits was due to $7.3bn in write-offs related to its global banking and markets and commercial banking business units in Europe.
The strategy change comes as economic growth is slowing in HSBC’s major markets. It is also facing the impact of the coronavirus, Britain’s protracted withdrawal from the European Union and historically low interest rates around the world. It will be the UK-based bank’s third overhaul in a decade as it attempts to lift its profits.
Mr Quinn, the 57-year-old HSBC veteran, was appointed interim chief executive in August last year following the ousting of John Flint. HSBC reiterated that it expects to make a permanent appointment within the next six to 12 months.
Addressing the impact of coronavirus, HSBC said the full effect has not been fully accounted for in today’s earnings, raising the possibility that it could further increase the amount it expects the outbreak to cost the bank.
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