Job cuts: How the banking sector is faring

The HSBC headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 10, 2015. HSBC has announced its decision to axe as many as 50,000 jobs through 2017 to cut annual costs by about US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion) and restore profit growth. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The HSBC headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 10, 2015. HSBC has announced its decision to axe as many as 50,000 jobs through 2017 to cut annual costs by about US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion) and restore profit growth. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HSBC has announced its decision to axe as many as 50,000 jobs through 2017 to cut annual costs by about US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion) and restore profit growth.

While it is not clear how many of those job cuts will come from Asia and Singapore, several other banks have also recently announced similar manpower reductions in the region.

Here's a look at what banks are doing:

STANDARD CHARTERED

In January, Standard Chartered Bank announced a big round of job cuts, slashing nearly 4,000 consumer-bank jobs.

Many of these cuts were to be from Asia as part of the bank's plan to exit global institutional cash equities, equity research and equities capital market businesses.

Of those, Hong Kong had the largest number, with jobs in Singapore, India, South Korea and Indonesia also affected, media reports said.

It was to reduce its headcount in Malaysia by 11 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, with cuts stretching across areas like marketing and consumer operations. More than 900 of Standard Chartered's more than 1,600 branches are in Asia, according to its website.

CIMB

In February, reports said that CIMB Group, Malaysia's second-largest lender, plans to cut about 50 jobs in Asia to trim costs.

The reductions were mostly in equities-related positions in places including Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and Korea. At least 15 of these positions were in Singapore, but its home base, Malaysia, was not to be hit by the layoffs.

The cuts were part of a strategy to reduce investment-banking costs by about 30 per cent in 2015 in anticipation of slower growth.

GOLDMAN SACHS

In March, it was reported that US Goldman Sachs Group was reducing the size of its investment-banking team in Singapore by about 30 per cent compared with the start of the year.

This was in addition to the 15 people in senior positions who had already left or are due to leave the team in Singapore.

The reductions were in line with the bank's aim to cut staff in South-east Asia after the value of equity deals in the region fell to US$24.1 billion in 2014, from US$36.6 billion a year earlier.

MACQUARIE GROUP

Earlier this year, there were reports Australia's Macquarie Group planned to cut about half of its investment-banking workforce in Asia as chief executive Nicholas Moore overhauls the business.

Nearly 90 jobs will be eliminated across the region in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, India and Japan.

Asia is Macquarie's smallest market.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG