British bank HSBC announced Tuesday that it’s cutting as many as 50,000 jobs around the world and shuttering hundreds of branch locations as part of a global restructuring plan designed to save up to $5 billion annually by 2017.
The bank said it will sell under-performing operations in Brazil and Turkey, shedding 25,000 jobs in the process, while a further 22,000 to 25,000 layoffs around the world—including as many as 8,000 in the U.K.—will reduce its headcount to about 208,000.
This is the second round of mass layoffs at HSBC since Stuart Gulliver took over as CEO in 2011: In August of that year he unveiled plans to slice staff numbers down to 266,000 jobs. Now, a shift to online banking and self-service will allow the bank to shutter 12 percent of its branches in its seven biggest markets, while British retail operations will be rebranded to meet new regulatory rules requiring banks to separate customer deposits from riskier investment activities.
HSBC currently has 5,800 branches globally.
In addition, the bank will accelerate investments in asset management and insurance in Asia, particularly in China and the ASEAN region, which comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It also plans to reduce its assets by roughly $290 billion on a risk adjusted basis (RWA) within two years.
“HSBC has an unrivalled global position: access to high growth markets; a diversified universal banking model with strong funding and a low risk profile; and strong internal capital generation with industry leading dividends,” Gulliver said in a statement to investors. “We recognize that the world has changed and we need to change with it.”
HSBC also said it would complete a review by the year’s end on whether to move its headquarters from the U.K., where it’s been based since 1992, to Asia, citing the British government’s bank tax, which cost it about $1.1 billion last year, as the main reason why.