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HSBC Bermuda won’t rule out further job cuts

HSBC Bermuda doesn’t rule out the possibility of more redundancies in Bermuda after the company said it plans to cut thousands of jobs worldwide in the next few years.

After two years of cost cuts and asset sales, London-headquartered HSBC said yesterday that it planned to cut an additional $2 billion to $3 billion over the next three years, which would require the elimination of as many as 14,000 jobs.

“Changes to staffing are inevitable,” a spokesperson for HSBC Bermuda told

The Royal Gazette when asked if any of the cuts might be to staffing in Bermuda.

“We have had success training and redeploying staff into new roles and will continue to make accreditation and training a priority to provide opportunities for our staff,” the spokesperson said, not saying if any layoffs were actually planned for Bermuda and if so, how many.

Europe’s largest bank said employee numbers could fall to between 240,000 and 250,000 by 2016, from 254,000 when current disposals and announced cuts take effect. The company did not say where the additional cuts would be made, saying only they would be "spread quite thinly around the world".

Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver, former head of HSBC's investment bank, has already cut 46,000 jobs. The most recent cuts at HSBC Bermuda took place last November when ten employees were made redundant. In February 2012, HSBC Bermuda made 14 jobs redundant and outsourced its facilities management work to a new company.

At its height in 2004, HSBC Bermuda employed 1,040 people but said in November that its headcount was down more than a quarter.

HSBC and sold or closed 52 of its businesses around the world, including a minority stake in Chinese insurer Ping An and its US credit cards. Such deals have reduced its risk-weighted assets by $95 billion and produced gains totalling about $8 billion.

In a meeting with investors on HSBC’s strategy, the management team said it aimed to increase dividends and was considering share buy-backs next year. That would make it one of the first European banks to buy back shares since the financial crisis.

Large European financial institutions, until now have focused mainly on increasing capital reserves to comply with stricter regulation. HSBC admitted that increasing revenue in the current economic environment was a challenge. It forced the bank to abandon a target to bring its costs down to 48 percent to 52 percent of income. It is now aiming for a cost-income ratio of about 55 percent by 2016.

In the face of weak demand in Europe, HSBC plans to increase revenue by focusing on high-return markets in Asia, where it generated around two-thirds of its profit in the first quarter.

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Published May 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm)

HSBC Bermuda won’t rule out further job cuts

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