[KUALA LUMPUR] CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Malaysia's second- largest lender, plans to cut about 50 jobs in Asia to trim costs, people familiar with the plan said.
The reductions involve mostly equities-related positions in places including Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and South Korea, the people said, asking not to be named as the plan is not yet public. CIMB's communications department didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comments.
The Kuala Lumpur-based company is reducing costs after previously expanding by purchasing some Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc operations in 2012. Tougher regulations and higher capital requirements are putting pressure on financial firms globally, with Standard Chartered Plc, CLSA Ltd and Nomura Holdings Inc among those to cut staff in Asia.
"Banks everywhere are now cutting costs," said Dickie Wong, an executive director of research at Kingston Financial Group in Hong Kong, adding that more reductions loom amid weakness in market sentiment in places including Europe and Southeast Asia.
CIMB, which took part in failed talks for a merger to establish Malaysia's biggest bank, said this month it plans to reduce investment-banking costs by about 30 per cent this year in anticipation of slower growth. The latest staff reductions are in addition to CIMB closing its Australian offices, affecting 103 jobs, a move announced Feb 9.
CIMB was part of a plan for a three-way merger with RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd. After the deal was scrapped last month, CIMB said it will seek only minor takeovers as part of its efforts to expand in Southeast Asia.