HSBC aims to cut third of its Paris-based investment banking and markets jobs by 2022

The lender is axing 35,000 jobs globally over the next few years as part of an overhaul announced in February

(FILES) In this file photo the HSBC logo is displayed on the facade of the HSBC headquarters in Milan on November 7, 2017.  HSBC on Tuesday said first quarter pre-tax profits almost halved as the banking giant was battered by the global coronavirus pandemic while it embarked on a major restructuring. / AFP / MARCO BERTORELLO

HSBC Holdings' French unit aims to cut more than a third of its Paris-based investment banking and markets team before 2022, according to a union website.

The bank expects voluntary departures, but it may need to dismiss some staff in the 678-person global banking and markets team if needed, the union said. HSBC introduced the plan to employee representatives on Monday, according to Les Echos.

The bank confirmed it had approached the union with a plan. It aims to “reallocate capital and resources to overcome the structural challenges in this business, to focus on profitable activities, reduce the cost base and thus safeguard our competitiveness,” the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. A spokeswoman declined to make further comments.

HSBC is reducing its 235,000-strong workforce by about 35,000 over the next few years as part of an overhaul announced in February by chief executive Noel Quinn. The bank resuscitated the plan last month after a pause during the Covid-19 pandemic, joining a number of European lenders making savings in the face of persistent low interest rates, volatile markets and costly technology projects.

HSBC is also in the process of selling its French retail banking arm, which comprises 250 branches and several thousand employees. The process has attracted Oddo, Cerberus Capital Management and AnaCap, while talks with La Banque Postale and Societe Generale slowed because of coronavirus pandemic, Les Echos reported in May.

The strategic review of HSBC France’s retail division is still ongoing, the spokeswoman said.