Exclusive: HSBC to cut up to 300 jobs in UK commercial banking overhaul - source

An HSBC bank is pictured during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC has launched a restructuring of its commercial banking business in Britain, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, resulting in around 300 job losses.

The cuts are part of a wider restructuring announced in February, as HSBC seeks to reduce costs globally in an environment where increasing revenues has proved difficult.

“In line with the Group strategy announced in February, we continue to restructure and review the roles required to transform the bank,” a spokesman for HSBC said.

Europe’s biggest bank in June resumed plans to cut around 35,000 jobs it had put on ice after the coronavirus outbreak, as it grapples with the impact of the pandemic on its already shrinking profits.

Chief Executive Noel Quinn has said the moves are necessary to improve the banks profits, as economic forecasts point to a challenging time ahead for the Asia-focused lender.

HSBC in August warned its loan losses for the year could blow past previous estimates to as much as $13 billion, as the coronavirus pandemic hammers the bank’s retail and corporate customers worldwide.

HSBC’s commercial banking business provides loans and other banking services mainly to small and medium-sized businesses.

The unit has in common with its rivals struggled in recent years to improve revenues amid rising competition and rock-bottom interest rates that squeeze the margins between deposits banks take in and loans they make to borrowers.

Other measures in the lender’s global restructuring drive include the disposal of its French business, which it may have to sell at a big loss, Reuters reported last month.

Reporting by Lawrence White, editing by Sinead Cruise and Carmel Crimmins