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Financial industry job cuts spread to Asia

September 26, 2008

A woman walks past a branch of a HSBC bank branch in central London September 26, 2008. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN)It’s not just Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch that look to be shedding jobs amid the deepening financial crisis: HSBC announced on Friday that it’s cutting 1,100 jobs in its global banking and markets operation, or about 4 percent of the unit’s total.

“We’re doing it because of market conditions and the economic environment, and our cautious outlook for 2009,” Hong Kong-based spokesman Gareth Hewett told Reuters.

The jobs are in front and back office operations. About half of the positions affected are in the United Kingdom, where HSBC has its headquarters, and 100 of the positions are in Hong Kong, where the bank’s large Asian operations are based.

Globally, HSBC employs about 335,000 people.

“Markets continue to be challenging and difficult but our strategy leaves us well positioned for the next wave of global growth, when it comes,” Hewett said.

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