x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

HSBC jobs cull to spare UAE

HSBC expects its UAE operations to be left largely unscathed as it cuts 200 jobs in the Middle East, with no branch closures planned.

HSBC Middle East says 200 layoffs planned for the region will result in no branch closures in the UAE and local job losses will be minimal.

The global banking giant, which employs 12,000 in the region, has embarked on a worldwide cost-cutting drive which will see the UAE become a hub for its retail banking operations throughout the region.

This move would allow the bank to avoid making substantial layoffs in the Emirates, said Rick Crossman, head of personal financial services for the UAE.

"The UAE has a very strong retail banking and wealth management business, and in addition will become the hub country for the regional business. Because of these factors, we anticipate minimal - if any - job losses in the UAE," he said.

HSBC has announced a series of job cuts this year in an effort to bring down its costs and has withdrawn from several markets. Earlier this year, the bank announced around 360 layoffs in the Middle East, 68 of which were in the UAE. In August, the bank said it was planning up to 30,000 layoffs globally, followed this month by the announcement of 3,000 job cuts in Hong Kong during the next three years.

Barclays Bank, First Gulf Bank and Shuaa Capital are among the banks in the UAE which have reduced staff this year amid regulatory tightening for retail banking.