HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE:HSBC) has instituted a global freeze on hiring and pay in 2016. The bank made the announcement to its employees on Friday through email.
According to the email, the bank is planning to use the strategy to make major cost reductions by 2017 as also indicated in the investor update where it stated its plans to bring down costs by $5 billion. HSBC intends to lay off 8,000 employees out of the 48,000 workers in the UK, and a total of 25,000 employees globally.
HSBC, the biggest bank in the UK, claims that the cost-slashing measures are in response to tighter global restrictions and slow economic growth. The bank is also planning to relocate its headquarters that are currently in London. Its board met last week to discuss whether it would be beneficial for the firm to shift its headquarters to Hong Kong. The shift is also in line with the objectives of bringing down costs. HSBC is expected to reveal the decision next week though the actual date of the announcement has not been set. There is also a chance that the bank will settle with Japan as its new headquarters.
These are not the first efforts that the bank has employed to reduce its expenditure. The investment banking division slashed pay to contractors by 10% in October. The bank has also announced that its mobile banking and internet banking services have recovered after recent cyber-attacks.
HSBC is just one of the major global banks that are employing cost-slashing measures to boost investor returns and profitability. More steps like these have been reported in recent years as banks aim to reach their annual costs and profitability targets. There has therefore been a lot of uncertainty in the banking industry especially for those working for these firms as they live in fear of finding themselves out of jobs.