HSBC said to axe senior managers in strategy shift

CEO Noel Quinn’s strategy update is expected on Feb. 18. (Supplied)
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Updated 05 February 2020

HSBC said to axe senior managers in strategy shift

  • Interim CEO to present new strategy on Feb. 18

HONG KONG: HSBC is set to unveil a new round of job cuts targeting senior international managers and reduce its presence in some smaller markets as part of a wider strategy overhaul, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The changes are expected to be part of a strategy update interim Chief Executive Noel Quinn will unveil on Feb. 18 with a view to boosting the profitability of Europe’s biggest bank by assets in a tough operating environment, the people said.

Quinn’s bid to restructure HSBC comes amid slowing economic growth in its major markets, an outbreak of the fast-spreading coronavirus, Britain’s protracted withdrawal from the EU, and lower interest rates.

While it was not clear how many jobs would go, the people said the planned move would mainly hit operations in London and to a lesser extent in Asia, which contributes nearly 90 percent of the bank’s profits.

The review will look at HSBC’s presence in some Latin American markets, the sources said, a region that accounts for just 3 percent of its pre-tax profit. Apart from Mexico, its presence in other countries in the region such as Argentina is small.

HSBC declined to comment.

The bank’s target to cut costs and simplify its notoriously complicated management setup is expected to focus on slashing a large number of global managerial roles across all business units — from investment to commercial banking, the people said.

The people spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized by the bank to speak with the media.

HSBC has global managers looking after a wide variety of functions for most of the product lines within its business divisions. Those senior managers are backed by a string of administrative and other support staff.

“More than cost-cutting, the idea is to make the structure at the top a bit leaner and give more decision-making powers to the regional managers who are closer to the clients,” said one of the people who is aware of the internal strategy discussions.

MoU signed to facilitate investment in Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 February 2020

MoU signed to facilitate investment in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

Under the MoU, the two authorities will establish a joint working group to boost cooperation in several areas including facilitation provided to investors, conducting economic studies of the market, building partnerships with commercial and industrial bodies and local companies, launching businesses, promoting the ease of doing business, providing logistic support, participating in local and international exhibitions, forums and special visits and exchanging knowledge and information.

All this will predominantly be in aid of attracting local and foreign investors. 

“SAGIA believes in the importance of such cooperation that can unify and multiply the efforts in a way that sets the world’s attention on the Kingdom’s cultural and heritage treasures and investment opportunities,” said SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar.

“This is done through close cooperation with DGDA to highlight these opportunities and market them internationally and locally. This MoU is a step in the right direction to achieve the objectives and directives of both bodies.”

Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the DGDA, said: “Cooperating with SAGIA is one of the most important international investment motors to attract local and international investments to the Kingdom. This comes at a time where developing the Kingdom’s investment infrastructure is found within the objectives of its Vision 2030.

“At DGDA, we aim at attracting the best technologies and regional and international investments to the Kingdom. This will contribute to the improvement of the local economy and promote our objectives seeking to turn Diriyah into the Kingdom’s gem and an international economic tourist destination,” he added.