New Delhi: Global banking giant HSBC saw its headcount in India decline by 2,000 persons in 2012, recording the fourth consecutive year of decreasing employee strength in the country.
The HSBC Group in India had a total of 30,000 employees, the second highest after 48,000 in the UK, at the end of last year 2012, the banking giant said in its annual report for the year.
This marked a decline of 2,000 employees from its 32,000-strong headcount in India at the end of 2011.
The group's worldwide workforce declined by 28,000 in 2012 to 270,000 full-time and part-time employees globally.
The group's headcount in India declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2012, after rising for at least three years till 2008. HSBC had as many as 37,000 employees in India at the end of 2008, while the same was 20,000 in 2005.
HSBC group incidentally reported its first profit in at least three years for the Indian retail banking and wealth management business in 2012. The group's profit before tax for this business unit in India was USD 41 million in 2012, as against losses of USD 14 million and USD 83 million in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
Prior to 2010, the group classified its businesses in different categories and therefore the comparable figures for years before that are not available.
Across all its India businesses, HSBC posted a profit before tax of USD 809 million in 2012, as against USD 813 million in the previous year.
HSBC's India profits for 2012 included USD 89 million from commercial banking business, USD 497 million in global banking and markets division and USD 7 million from global private banking.
India has been listed as one of the 'priority growth markets' by HSBC and the its customer account balance in the country rose to USD 10.41 billion in 2012.
The bank also recorded a gain of USD 314 million from sale of non-core strategic investments in four Indian banks during 2012.