LONDON — HSBC is cutting jobs in its retail and investment banking divisions and shutting down some of its London operations as it eyes Asia as the world’s burgeoning financial center.
The bank said Tuesday it plans to slash more than 8,000 jobs in the U.K. and close branches as part of a major cost-cutting operation as it slims down operations and repositions itself for the future.
Branches in seven major markets, including the U.K., will be closed, with up to 25,000 jobs set to go, or 10 percent of the bank’s global workforce. It will also sell its Turkish and Brazilian operations.
HSBC said in a statement Tuesday its strategic aim is to expand its Asian footprint.
“We recognize that the world has changed and we need to change with it,” said HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver. “That is why we are outlining…ten strategic actions that will further transform our organization.”
The bank also announced the criteria it will use in order to decide whether it will keep its headquarters in the U.K., where it has been based since 1992 after it took over Midland Bank. There has been speculation in the British press that it could transfer its headquarters to Hong Kong.
HSBC also said it would accelerate its investments in Asian markets, with the aim of capturing potential opportunities from emerging wealth in the region. The bank also has plans to expand its asset management and insurance businesses in Asia.
Gulliver has been at the helm of the bank since 2011, and has been systematically streamlining operations. Since he took over, the bank has incurred $11.2 billion in regulatory charges.
The move comes as the U.K. government seeks to crack down on the financial services industry with higher taxes, stiffer regulation and increased operational transparency following the financial scandals of 2008.