International News from World: HSBC plans to speed up job cuts after interim profits plunged and the bank said bad loans linked to the coronavirus could reach $13bn (£9.8bn).
HSBC boss Noel Quinn said it will “accelerate” an earlier restructuring plan which included axing 35,000 jobs.
“Our operating environment has changed significantly since the start of the year,” he said.
Mr Quinn also said the bank would examine “additional actions” to strengthen its business.
Europe’s biggest bank reported a 65% drop in pre-tax profits to $4.3bn for the first half of the year – much steeper than analysts had forecast.
HSBC also said it set aside between $8bn and $13bn this year for bad loans as it expects more people and businesses to default on their repayments because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is higher than previously budgeted for, taking into account the effects of the economic downturn.
The bank said it had given more than 700,000 payment holidays on loans, credit cards and mortgages, providing more than $27bn in customer relief.
HSBC has also been hit by the low interest rate environment, which squeezes a bank’s profit margins on the loans it provides. The lower the interest rate, the less a bank makes on its lending. – BBC