HSBC Prepares to Cut Trading Jobs in Paris

(Bloomberg) — HSBC Holdings Plc is exploring plans to cut the jobs of almost all its Paris-based bankers working on structured derivatives products, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The move would affect the equity and fixed-income derivatives teams, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. It’s not clear how many jobs will be affected. Europe’s biggest bank aims to cut 255 jobs throughout the 678-person French investment bank by early 2022, Bloomberg News has reported.

Some jobs will be moved to Asia, where most clients for those products are located, the people said, adding that the plans aren’t yet final.

The French cutbacks form part of a worldwide overhaul announced by Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn last February, which aims to reduce gross risk-weighted assets by more than $100 billion and cut 35,000 jobs by 2022. London-based HSBC has focused particularly on shrinking in France, where its retail division is up for sale.

Some derivatives roles will remain in Paris to serve the bank’s corporate clients in continental Europe.

A spokesperson for HSBC France declined to comment on the job transfers, but repeated the bank’s previous statement that it aims to “reallocate capital and resources to overcome the structural challenges in this business, to focus on profitable activities, reduce the cost base and thus safeguard our competitiveness.”

The trading of equity derivatives, which has long been considered a traditional strength of the French banks, has recently been at the center of their woes after risky positions backfired in the market turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Both Societe Generale SA and Natixis SA, which recorded losses in the first half, have announced plans to adjust their equity derivatives businesses.

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