HSBC says to cut 1,200 UK jobs

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings HSBA.L is cutting about 1,200 jobs in Britain as cost-cutting across the battered banking industry continues to force job losses.

HSBC said the operating environment for banks in Britain was “extremely challenging” and will remain so for some time.

Most of the cuts would be in processing and operations.

There will be some losses in finance, human resources and information technology, but no customer service staff in branches will be affected, the bank said in a statement.

A spokesman said the bank will close an operations center in Leamington Spa, in central England, affecting 290 jobs and another in Newport, Wales, affecting 90 staff.

HSBC cut 500 jobs at its UK banking business in December following a review of the business, and axed 1,100 investment banking jobs in September.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, employs about 58,000 people in Britain and 312,000 people globally.

Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Hans Peters