HSBC may cut up to 14,000 jobs under restructuring plan

HSBC branch
Image caption HSBC gets most of its profit from Asia

HSBC has said it may cut an additional 14,000 jobs globally as part of a restructuring plan to reduce costs and increase profitability.

The bank is aiming to save another $3bn (£2bn) in annual costs as tougher regulations eat into profits.

The layoffs would cut the firm's total headcount to between 240,000 and 250,000 over the next three years.

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver has already overseen $4bn of cost cuts since he took office in 2011.

He is aiming to streamline the bank's operations by focusing on high-growth markets in Asia. The firm has also sold or closed 52 businesses.

''HSBC is now simpler, easier to manage and ready to take advantage of growth opportunities,'' Mr Gulliver said in a statement.

"We are confident that these measures will deliver consistent and superior financial results and move us closer to achieving our ambition of being the world's leading international bank."

The first phase of HSBC's cost-cutting effort has seen the firm cull 46,000 jobs and sell its stake in China's second biggest-insurer for about $9.4bn. Other divestments include its US credit card operations and four Latin American units.

Mr Gulliver said on Wednesday that a stronger financial performance would allow it to increase dividends. He also signalled that the bank may buy back shares in 2016.

Earlier this month, HSBC reported pre-tax profits of $8.4bn for the first three months of 2013.

The profit was nearly double the figure reported for the same period a year earlier, and was boosted by a fall in losses from bad debts and provisions for other risks.

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