HSBC workers face pay cut as bank slashes costs

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

HSBC's London investment banking division is cutting pay by 10 percent and enforcing a two-week unpaid leave for hundreds of workers.

Pedestrians walk past a signage for HSBC Holdings Plc displayed outside a bank branch in the Central district of Hong Kong, China
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The cost-cutting, first reported in The Times, is understood to affect contractors rather than permanent staff. Several hundred workers across the investment bank's operations in London are facing the cut in salary and a further two weeks off work without pay, to be taken by the end of the year.

It comes as management are under increased pressure to limit costs ahead of year-end reporting. With targets of annual savings of between $4.5- $5 billion by 2017, and turbulence in some of the bank's key markets, staff are braced for more belt-tightening.

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A spokeswoman for HSBC said: "As a routine practice in Global Banking & Markets we regularly review rates for contractors to ensure alignment with the market and manage costs."

In recent months, the bank's share price has been hit byconcerns about China and the broader Asia-Pacific region. There is also still a question mark over whether it will keep its London headquarters, an issue likely to be resolved by the end of the year.