HSBC tanks the most since 2017 after announcing a $7.2 billion overhaul charge

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a HSBC signage in Singapore October 8 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim/File Photo

Reuters

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a HSBC signage in Singapore

  • HSBC shares tumbled as much as 5.6% early Tuesday after the bank unveiled its third restructuring plan in a decade.
  • The overhaul looks to cut as many as 35,000 jobs by 2022 as well as halt share buyback programs planned for 2020 and 2021.
  • Restructuring costs are estimated to hit $6 billion, while asset disposal charges will total $1.2 billion through 2022, the bank said.
  • The bank also announced its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, reporting a 33% drop in pre-tax profits year-over-year.
  • Watch HSBC trade live here.

HSBC shares fell as much as 5.6% in early Tuesday trading after the bank announced plans to cut 35,000 jobs in a major overhaul.

Europe's largest investment bank by market cap looks to slash underperforming offices in the US and Europe and focus on Asia for further growth. HSBC expects to take a $6 billion charge from restructuring and a $1.2 billion charge from asset disposal costs over the next three years.Advertisement

Tuesday's drop on the London Stock Exchange was HSBC's biggest since September 2017, according to Bloomberg.

The company posted its fourth-quarter results on Tuesday alongside the overhaul plan. Quarterly revenue and pre-tax earnings landed above analyst estimates, but profits fell 33% from the year-ago quarter.

Here are the key numbers:
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Revenue: $13.1 billion, versus the $13 billion estimate

Quarterly pre-tax profit: $4.3 billion, versus the $3.9 billion estimate2019 pre-tax profit: $22.2 billion, versus the $21.8 billion estimateAdvertisement

Total jobs: down to 200,000 by 2022 from 235,000

Share buybacks will be suspended for 2020 and 2021, and gross assets held by the bank will be reduced by $100 billion over the next three years, according to the report. HSBC warned coronavirus fallout will bring additional hits to future performance, but the magnitude of the damage is still unclear.

"Depending on how the situation develops, there is the potential for any associated economic slowdown to impact our expected credit losses in Hong Kong and mainland China," the bank said in its latest quarterly report.Advertisement

The bank is going to be "surgical and ruthless" in its plan to cut underperforming businesses, Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson said in a Bloomberg TV interview. HSBC plans to combine its consumer banking and private banking divisions into a standalone platform, while also shrinking its global reporting lines to four from seven.

The latest restructuring plan is HSBC's third in a decade, and comes amid a continued search for a permanent CEO. Former chief executive John Flint left the company roughly one year after his 2018 improvement plan failed. Chairman Mark Tucker now leads the plan to cut costs and capitalize on Asian and Middle Eastern markets while also looking to fill the bank's top role.

HSBC traded at $35.82 per share as of 12 p.m. ET Tuesday, down 8% year-to-date.Advertisement

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