British banking company HSBC said on Monday it will cut 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 and sell almost half its bank branches in the U.S., part of a new strategy to cut back on retail operations in some parts of the world and focus instead on fast-growing emerging markets.
The bank, which reported a 3 percent increase in pre-tax profits to $11.5 billion in the six months to June, has already cut 5,000 jobs this year. Bank spokesman Patrick Humphris said another 25,000 will be slashed by 2013. HSBC currently employs around 296,000 people worldwide.
Humphris declined to give details of where the job cuts would be but said the group is still hiring in emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico. As part of its restructuring, HSBC will sell 195 retail banking branches in the United States to First Niagara Bank for around $1 billion. Most of the branches to be sold are in upstate New York, while six are in Connecticut. Four more are northern Westchester County, and two in Putnam County.
The bank is still dealing with the legacy of bad loans in the U.S. from the 2003 acquisition of consumer lender Household International Inc. The acquisition made HSBC the biggest sub-prime lender in the United States at the time, which resulted in billions of losses to HSBC leading up to the financial crisis of 2008.
“I am pleased with there results, which mark a first step in the right direction on what will be a long journey,” New chief executive Stuart Gulliver said in a statement.