London: Global banking giant HSBC on Monday said it has reduced employee strength by almost 22,000 in less than a year as part of cost-cutting programme.
The bank had 2,67,000 employees at the end of September, 2012, almost 22,000 lower than that on December 31, 2011.
"This reflected the planned net reduction of staff numbers across the group from organisational effectiveness initiatives and business disposals," HSBC said in a statement on Monday.
The move is part of the London-headquartered bank's plans to reduce its costs by up to USD 3.5 billion by 2013.
"We achieved a further USD 0.5 billion of sustainable savings in 3Q 12 through our organisational effectiveness programmes. This took our total annualised savings achieved to USD 3.1 billion," it said.
Last year, HSBC, which is the largest bank in Europe, had announced to shed 30,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2013 as it retreats from countries where it is struggling to compete.
However, HSBC India Chief Executive Stuart A Davis had ruled out job cuts in the country as part of its global recast, saying India is a strategic market and one of the key profit centres and that it is in fact finding it difficult to offset the high attrition rates.