SMM: HSBC (HSBC Holdings PIc), Europe's largest bank, said on Friday that it had decided to close its industrial metals business and was pushing ahead with plans to cut about 35000 jobs.
HSBC has a small share of industrial metals. The company pulled out of the business in 2005 but has slowly re-entered in recent years, when the unit had only about 2mi 3 employees.
According to sources, the rate of return is too low to be worth further investment. An HSBC spokesman said: "We remain focused on expanding our leading position in precious metals." But he declined to comment further.
The 35000 job cuts at HSBC, which currently has 235000 employees, are part of a broader restructuring to cut costs by $4.5 billion. At present, HSBC's profits are declining, and economic forecasts show that there will be challenges ahead.
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