HSBC cuts UAE retail, commercial bank jobs

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 01:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: HSBC has cut jobs in its retail and commercial banking units in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the bank prepares for lower growth in the Gulf Arab state next year, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The bank in June announced plans to slash 50,000 jobs globally, equivalent to nearly one in five people employed by the lender, as part of a strategy aimed at combating sluggish growth across its sprawling empire and to boost dividend payments.

Economic growth in the Gulf Arab region, including the UAE, has also been stalling due to lower oil prices and subsequent cuts in state spending, which is being felt in the local banking system including through increasing default rates among small and medium-sized businesses.

The job cuts, which local media reports put at around 150 in total, were mainly within commercial and retail banking and were partly a preemptive measure due to the expectation of slower growth forecasts next year, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“As flagged in our Investor Update, we have targeted significant cost reductions by the end of 2017, and we continually review and manage our overall headcount requirements,” an HSBC spokeswoman said.

The bank employs more than 8,000 people in the Middle East and North Africa.