DUBAI, (Reuters) – HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, plans to cut its Middle East workforce by up to 3 percent, the lender said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
“Fewer than 3 percent of HSBC’s total workforce of over 12,000 in the Middle East and North Africa will be affected,” the statement said.
“We are aware that the proposed changes will be difficult for members of staff impacted but will do everything we can to support those affected.”
The statement did not elaborate on which divisions would be affected by the cuts but said that the move was motivated by a need to “improve efficiency”.
“The move is believed to be within the corporate and retail divisions of the bank,” one person familiar with the matter, said on condition of anonymity.
The U.K. lender is one of the largest international banks in the Middle East and North Africa with a significant slice of the retail as well as corporate banking business.
Earlier in the week, HSBC said it will close its retail banking operation in Russia after just two years, following in the footsteps of British peer Barclays.