HSBC Bank will shed up to 3 per cent – or 360 jobs – of its 12,000-strong workforce in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the bank said in an emailed statement to Emirates 24|7. The objective of the "small reduction in headcount" is to improvre efficiency and ensure its competitiveness, the bank said.
"As part of a standard operational review of the business to ensure our competitiveness, we have identified an opportunity to improve efficiency through a small reduction of headcount," the statement read.
"Fewer than 3 per cent of HSBC’s total workforce of over 12,000 in the Middle East and North Africa will be affected," it said, adding that the bank would try and help those affected by its decision. "We are aware that the proposed changes will be difficult for members of staff impacted but will do everything we can to support those affected," the statement said.
HSBC said that the move was part of "[r]egular refinement of the business to enhance operational excellence and ensure value for our customers and shareholders," which it added was "an ongoing process at HSBC, designed to strengthen our business for future success."
The bank, which has seen a 56 per cent growth in its regional staff strength since 2006, said that the region remained a focus area for it. "HSBC currently employs more than 12,000 people in the MENA region, compared to 7,700 in 2006 – a sign of the investment made by the group in the MENA region in the last five years. The Middle East is a core part of the HSBC Group’s emerging market strategy, and our commitment to its future prospects remains undiminished."
Earlier this week, the bank announced a retreat from its Russian retail operations, in the process halving its 500-strong workforce in that country. Huseyin Ozkaya, HSBC’s head of Russian operations, said in a statement that a review of the market showed corporate banking offered the ‘‘strongest opportunity’’ for HSBC in Russia.