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Grumbling at HSBC as people cut before bonuses

It's not just Citi, UBS and Barclays that cut people before bonuses this year. Sources say HSBC has been doing it too.

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HSBC announces its bonuses on Thursday next week, but it's been trimming people in its global banking and markets division in advance.

The bank didn't respond to a request to comment, but sources in London say that investment banking teams have been restructured with people cut across leveraged finance and M&A. People at associate and vice president (VP) levels seem to have been most affected, with some directors going too.

The cuts come despite a 32% increase in capital markets and advisory revenues in the first nine months of 2023, and a 7% increase in net operating income across the global banking and markets division as a whole. In October, HSBC indicated that it was increasing the bonus pool. 

Insiders say that some of the cuts seemed politically motivated and involved "super well-connected folks" who will easily find jobs elsewhere. In leveraged finance, the changes appear to have been effected by Ian Dorrington, who joined from Deutsche Bank and replaced the seemingly popular Ray Doody last March. 

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Photo by Kim Gorga on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • P2
    P2c2e
    17 February 2024

    This is not limited to Global Banking and Markets. The same tactic has been used in other areas such as Risk, to avoid paying bonuses despite employees having worked the full year and delivered great results. It is a sign of the changing values and ethics of what used to be an employee friendly organization. There is a strong drive to make change for change’s sake, without an objective assessment of the knowledge and skills being lost through continuous ‘transformation’ that yields no tangible value

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