HSBC is having a rough year. After a high-profile tax-avoidance scandal in Switzerland – that involved many wealthy Middle Eastern clients – as well a decline in profit, the banking firm announced that it is selling its underperforming businesses in Brazil and Turkey .
The sale of businesses in Brazil and Turkey had been anticipated for some time, as they had been target as two of four problem markets, which included Mexico and the United States .
The firm, founded 150 years ago in Hong Kong, is focusing more on Asia moving forward, by stepping up investment, expanding asset management and insurance in the region. Specifically the company will focus on the Pearl River Delta area in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, and in parts of Southeast Asia.
“The world is increasingly connected, with Asia expected to show high growth and become the center of global trade over the next decade,” Stuart Gulliver, the bank’s chief executive, said in a news release. “I am confident that our actions will allow us to capture expected future growth opportunities and deliver further value to shareholders.”
In addition, HSBC is considering moving its headquarters from London, as the regulatory landscape in Britain becomes stricter, amid new lending taxes on banks.
HSBC also announced a 10 percent reduction in jobs, equivalent to between 22,000 and 25,000 positions globally. That, plus the loss of workforce in Turkey and Brazil, will lead to over 50,000 jobs being cut worldwide by 2017.