British banking giant HSBC announced Wednesday that up to 1,200 employees may lose their jobs as the troubled banking sector continued to falter.
The bank, which laid off 500 banking staff last December and 1,100 investment banking jobs in September, said operating conditions for banks in the UK were “extremely challenging” and were unlikely to improve for some time. “We deeply regret that these have led to the announcement of redundancies and, as you would expect, we will do everything we can to help and support those of our colleagues who are affected,” HSBC’s UK managing director, Paul Thurston, said in a statement. The bank, which currently employs about 58,000 people in the UK, said the redundancies would be spread across the country. HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, has not received any government financial assistance the economic crisis, but recently approved an $18 billion rights issue to bolster its finances. Earlier this month the bank announced a 62 percent slide in annual pre-tax profits to $9.3 billion.