HSBC is to cut around 3 per cent of its workforce of 12,000 across the Middle East as the international banking giant downsizes its operations worldwide and seeks to improve its profits.
The job cuts are believed to be not targeted to any specific country, though they will affect workers "across the board at all levels" in the bank's retail and corporate operations.
"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 bank said in a statement.
"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."
HSBC currently employs more than 12,000 people in the Mena region, compared to 7,700 in 2006.
In a recent note, Stuart Gulliver, the bank's chief executive, said: "With the steady but still volatile recovery of the world economy, it is extremely important to understand the role that the Middle East region plays and to create the right platform from which to grow our business."
He added: "With a presence of over 50 years in the region, HSBC benefits from exceptional relationships and a deep understanding of these markets, and we will continue to invest in them."
The bank's Middle East operations made a profit of $462m in 2010, up from a loss of $6.7m in 2009, according to its financial statements. During that time, employee compensation rose 6.2 per cent to $502m.
The bank recently closed its retail banking operations in Russia after just two years of operations, Reuters reported.