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News | Published October 28 2019

HSBC to undergo restructure following sub-par third quarter performance

Banking giant HSBC is to undergo a restructure in some regional divisions after sub-par performance in areas of Europe and the US.

Noel Quinn, the bank’s interim chief executive, said that the plans to improve these divisions were “no longer sufficient” and that plans to “remodel” were being accelerated.

Quinn, who took over as acting chief executive in August, said: “in some parts, performance was not acceptable, principally business activities within continental Europe, the non-ring-fenced bank in the UK, and the US."

Earlier in October, the bank had already announced plans to cut around 10,000 jobs to reduce costs, after reporting that its third-quarter profits were below expectations.

Its pre-tax profit fell by 18 per cent to £3.8 billion [$4.8 billion] in the three months to September.

Accompanying the announcement was a warning from the bank of a “challenging” immediate future amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty in Europe, the global market tensions arising from the US-China trade war and turmoil in major Asian financial hub, Hong Kong.

HSBC has amended its fourth quarter predictions to account for “softer” revenue growth than previously anticipated, with “significant changes” including the restructuring measure to follow.

On Monday, Quinn reiterated that there was the “scope” for potential job cuts, with the bank currently employing around 238,000 individuals.

Speaking to Reuters, he said: "there is scope throughout the bank to clarify and simplify roles, and to reduce duplication.”

Despite its problems in the West and concerns in the East over a Chinese slowdown and unrest in Hong Kong, the bank has been resilient in the wider Asian region where it generates the majority of its profits.

Pre-tax profit in Asia over the third quarter was up by four per cent to $4.7 billion.

Quinn said: “Parts of our business, especially Asia, held up well in a challenging environment in the third quarter.”


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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
@theparlreview
October 28 2019

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