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HSBC's cost-cutting may lead to job losses in India

October 10, 2019 11:11 IST

As many as 40 staffers, in the key equities and investment banking division in India, could be asked to go as part of the London-headquartered lender's global layoffs, said people aware of the development. HSBC India has declined to comment. 

Staffers of HSBC India, including employees in its capital markets division, are staring at an uncertain future. The company’s global cost-cutting drive, which has already put 10,000 jobs in jeopardy, is likely to spill over to India. 

As many as 40 staffers, in the key equities and investment banking division in India, could be asked to go as part of the London-headquartered lender's global layoffs, said people aware of the development. HSBC India declined to comment. 

On Monday, news reports said HSBC had started layoffs globally, threatening 10,000 jobs. When it comes to Indian markets, HSBC does not have a dominant position in the i-banking space, though it does in equities trading, which involves dealing in shares on behalf of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). 

 

HSBC has improved its position in the league market tables, climbing to sixth spot this year. In 2019, HSBC has been involved in a couple of secondary sales and the successful initial public offerings (IPO) of Embassy REITs. 

The announcement by HSBC follows similar moves by its European rivals Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and Standard Chartered (StanChart). 

In July, Deutsche Bank started unwinding its investment banking and equities arm in India, following the exit of its parent company from the equity business, globally. 

In 2016, Barclays closed its India equities business as part of its cost-cutting drive.  

Industry sources say the capital markets business has never been a big money-making opportunity for global banks. 

However, it has always been a key important division for any full-scaled investment bank, given that it gives clients, from across the world, access to any equity market. 

This is HSBC’s second round of retrenchment in India. In August, HSBC had laid off 200 employees from its technology function. A majority of the layoffs happened at the mid-management level in Pune and Hyderabad. 

HSBC's India businesses date back to 1959, when it acquired the Mumbai-based Mercantile Bank of India. The company has a bunch of businesses in India, which includes banking, treasury services, foreign exchange, and capital markets. It also has a global services centre, spanning multiple cities in India, which employs 24,000 people. 

HSBC’s securities and capital markets divisions offer services in investment banking, equity research, and stock broking. Equities research and stock broking cater primarily to institutional clients, which include foreign portfolio investors, local institutions, and mutual funds, among others.

Sundar Sethuraman in Mumbai
Source: source
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