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HSBC plans to cut 260 jobs at its Swiss private banking unit

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 20:56
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HSBC Holdings Plc may cut as many as 260 jobs at its Swiss private bank after investing US$200 million to improve information technology and offices.

[GENEVA] HSBC Holdings Plc may cut as many as 260 jobs at its Swiss private bank after investing US$200 million to improve information technology and offices.

About 80 per cent of the reductions will be in back office functions, including IT staff, HSBC said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. While the cuts will occur over two years and may include voluntary departures and retirees, redundancies may begin later in the second quarter of 2015, according to the document seen by Bloomberg.

Michael Spiess, a spokesman for HSBC's private bank in Geneva, declined to confirm details of the memo.

HSBC "is currently consulting with employees about an expected headcount reduction arising from further streamlining," Mr Spiess said in an e-mail. "HSBC remains fully committed to Switzerland."

Swiss newspaper L'Agefi reported the news earlier.

HSBC's private bank in Switzerland, one of the country's largest, has been the subject of reports dubbed Swiss leaks that named tax evaders, drug cartels and arms dealers among its clients.

Mr Spiess said "the expected headcount reduction is not in any way related to the recent media coverage."

Geneva's public prosecutor is probing HSBC for money laundering and it's under investigation by the US Justice Department as part of a tax probe into Swiss banks. HSBC has said it overhauled compliance and risk controls since a data theft in 2008 that led to the recent disclosures. Client assets at the Swiss business dropped 43 per cent to US$68 billion between 2007 and 2014.

BLOOMBERG

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