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Cutting jobs globally, HSBC set to add 4,000 in 4 years in China

[LONDON] HSBC Holdings Plc plans to add 4,000 staff in China's Pearl River Delta region over the next three to four years to grab retail banking and wealth management business.

Asia-Pacific chief executive officer Peter Wong outlined the plans in an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Times, published Monday. The lender confirmed the report.

That would amount to a 30 per cent increase from 13,000 employees in the Pearl River Delta and contrast with the bank's three-year plan to cut global headcount by some 50,000 and reduce annual costs by up to US$5 billion. HSBC is shifting investment to Asia, its best-performing region, while cutting unprofitable divisions.

HSBC aims to increase its pretax profit in the Pearl River Delta to US$1 billion within five years from US$100 million last year, Wong was quoted as saying by the newspaper. Gareth Hewett, a spokesman for HSBC in Hong Kong, confirmed the report.

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HSBC shares fell 1.5 per cent in Hong Kong as of 9:43 am, extending this year's decline to 20 per cent.