HSBC interim profits have plummeted as bad loans linked to coronavirus could hit $13bn, which has prompted the bank to speed up 35,000 job cuts.
Europe’s largest bank reported in the first half of 2020 a 65% fall in pre-tax profits of $4.3bn, which exceeds what analysts had forecast.
HSBC chief Noel Quinn said the bank will now accelerate they earlier restructuring plan to cut 35,000 jobs.
In June HSBC chairman Mark Tucker announced the bank will cut 35,000 jobs from their global 235,000 workforce, which were previously placed on hold following the pandemic.
Quinn said, “Our operating environment has changed significantly since the start of the year,” and will examine “additional actions” to help strengthen the bank.
HSBC have set aside between $8bn and $13bn for bad loans, which is far higher than they previously planned for, as a result of the economic downturn and businesses defaulting on payments amid the pandemic.
The bank has been hit with low interest rate value, and has provided more than 700,000 payment holidays on loans, mortgages and credit cards, which has seen $27bn in customer relief.