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HSBC layoffs: 30,000 jobs to be cut in global overhaul

HSBC layoffs will take effect by 2013. The HSBC layoffs come as the banking group shifts its focus to emerging markets around the globe.

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Pedestrians walk past a bank branch of HSBC in central London on Aug. 1, 2011. The HSBC layoffs come as the banking group slashes costs and retreats from countries such as Russia, Poland and the US, where it is struggling to compete, Europe's biggest bank said after reporting a surprise rise in first-half profit.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

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British banking group HSBC said Monday it will cut 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 and sell almost half its retail bank branches in the U.S., part of a new strategy to focus on fast-growing emerging markets.

The bank, which reported a better-than-expected 3 percent increase in pretax profits to $11.5 billion in the six months to June, has already cut 5,000 jobs this year. Another 25,000 will be slashed by 2013, spokesman Patrick Humphris said.

HSBC currently employs around 296,000 people worldwide.

Humphris declined to give details of where the job cuts would be but said the group is still hiring in emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico.

The move echoes similar announcements by other global banks, such as Credit Suisse, UBS and Goldman Sachs, who in recent weeks said they needed to trim payrolls to adjust to tougher market conditions.

As part of its restructuring, HSBC will sell 195 retail banking branches in the United States to First Niagara Bank for around $1 billion. Most of the branches to be sold are in upstate New York, while six are in Connecticut. Four more are in northern Westchester County, and two in Putnam County.

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