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HSBC to cut costs by up to £2bn

HSBC is looking to cut costs by up to £2bn by reducing its wealth management and retail operations in its least profitable markets.

It said this would involve closing branches in these areas and streamlining some of its IT operations. It did not say how many job losses there would be in total.

However, the bank says it is not looking to make cuts to any of its operations in key markets, which include the UK, France, Germany and Asia, and will focus its retail operations where it believes it can make the most profit.

A trading statement released on Monday showed the proportion of the bank’s revenue spent on operational costs in the first quarter was around 60 per cent. However, the bank is looking to reduce this to between 48 per cent and 52 per cent in the next two years. It posted pre-tax profits of £3bn for the first three months of the year, down from £3.5bn for the same time last year.

The bank currently has a presence in 87 countries and has 95m customers.

A spokesman says: “It is about should we be concentrating on areas that produce the most profit. And it is a case of do we have the best footprints in those areas.”

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