HSBC to cut up to 20,000 jobs in wake of tax scandal

Stuart Gulliver
Stuart Gulliver

HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, is to announce plans to cut 20,000 jobs globally.

According to reports, the lender will be looking to complete the massive cull of its headcount by the end of 2017.

The scale of the job cuts will be detailed by HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver on 9 June, although the number is expected to be between 10,000 and 20,000.

HSBC employed 258,000 people worldwide at the end of 2014.

The number of role reductions are said to include the potential impact of the sale of HSBC’s operations in Brazil and Turkey.

The news comes just three months after Mr Gulliver and chairman Douglas Flint were hauled in front of the Treasury select committee to defend the bank following accusations of aiding tax evasion.

The bank has been hit by tax evasion scandals in recent months amid claims that it helped over 1,000 UK customers evade their responsibilities between 2005 and 2007.

Both bosses apologised for the misconduct but refused to shoulder blame for activities undertaken at HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm, with Flint saying management in Switzerland were “most accountable”.

It has also emerged this week that Belgium is to attempt to retrieve €540m (£390m) in unpaid tax avoided from money hidden in HSBC Swiss bank accounts.

The new estimate was made yesterday by Belgian finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt.

Newspaper De Tijd has reported over 1,000 accounts had been investigated by Belgian authorities, belonging to lawyers, diamond merchants, sportspersons and the aristocracy.

So far, the UK has recovered £135m from HSBC clients and France £188m.

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