London-based HSBC is laying off 1,100 people from its global banking and markets division, including many support staff from the investment bank headquarters.
"The HSBC jobs are in front- and back-office operations," Reuters reported. "About 500 of the cuts will be in Britain and about 300 more will be elsewhere in Europe and the United States. About 100 are in Hong Kong, where the bank's large Asian operations are based."
The layoffs comprise about 4 percent of the division, whose remaining headcount will number about 26,000, according to Reuters.
News outlets quoted an HSBC spokesman attributing the cutback to "market conditions and the economic environment, and our cautious outlook for 2009." Although HSBC reported a profit for the first half of 2008, pretax profit in its global banking and markets business shrank 35 percent year-over-year as the bank took a $14 billion charge for bad debt provisions and asset write-downs.