Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

Big banks fire thousands in Europe, but hiring in China

  • China's booming banking sector is a magnet for European banks (Photo: dolmansaxlil)

Eight of Europe's biggest banks have announced tens of thousands of job cuts in Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland in a bid to reduce salary costs, but will keep expanding and hiring new staff in China.

Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), a British conglomerate which is Europe's biggest bank, on Tuesday (2 August) announced 30,000 job cuts worldwide by 2013 - about 10 percent of its staff. Most of these cuts will affect its EU and US branches, in a bid to save some €2 billion in salary costs.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

In France, where HSBC employs some 10,000 people, the bank has told 672 people to go on early retirement, Le Monde reports.

The British bank has not scaled down its expansion plans in emerging markets such as China, with some 15,000 staff to be hired in the area in the coming three years.

"China's a strategically important market, where investments and the number of employees will grow. HSBC won't slim its operations in China," Peter Wong, the bank's CEO for Asia-Pacific told reporters in a press conference in Shanghai.

More than 5,000 people have been hired in Asia in the first half of this year and the trend will continue in China, he added.

The bank will also expand its branch network in China, where it now has over 150 outlets. Wong said HSBC would seek to get as many licenses as possible from Chinese regulators to expand in the country, including for mutual funds - a market that has recently been opened up to foreign banks.

Another British bank, Barclays, has announced global staff cuts of 3,000 for this year, half of whom are being let go in Britain. The bank aims to scale its personnel down to 146,100 by the end of the year.

Lloyd's, the third big British bank to mirror the trend, plans to make some 15,000 people redundant by the end of 2014 out of its 106,000 employees. Lloyd's still depends on public subsidies to finance its activities, after being seriously hit by the financial crisis in 2008.

In Switzerland, UBS has announced it will make some redundancies to cope with the new rules for the financial sector, without giving precise figures. According to Swiss media, the tally could reach 5,000.

At the end of last week, UBS announced it has just set up a new asset management unit in China and said it will continue to expand there, however.

"China's strong economic growth has positioned the market as one of the most promising emerging markets globally and resulted in a booming domestic equity investment market," Xinyuan Ling, the chairman of UBS global asset management said in a statement.

Other personnel cuts have been made public by Credit Suisse (2,000) in Switzerland, Bankia (2,879) in Spain, where it will close down 476 branches, and Intesa Sanpaolo in Italy (3,000 cuts).

France's BNP Paribas also wants to slash 244 jobs in the mortgage sector.

Commission warns Italy over high debt level

The Italian government must demonstrate it is making an effort, or the EU will consider launching a procedure. France and Romania are also under scrutiny.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

News in Brief

  1. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  2. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  3. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers
  4. French banks close Le Pen accounts
  5. Commission relaxes rules on labelling free range eggs
  6. Commission issues €34m fine over car equipment cartel
  7. Estonian presidency 'delighted' with emissions trading vote
  8. Mladic found guilty of genocide and war crimes

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  2. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  3. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  4. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  6. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  7. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  8. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  9. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  10. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  11. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  12. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure

Latest News

  1. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  2. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  3. Commission warns Italy over high debt level
  4. Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes
  5. Uber may face fines in EU for keeping data breach secret
  6. EU counter-propaganda 'harms' relations, Russia says
  7. The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik
  8. Glyphosate: 1.3 million EU citizens call for ban