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HSBC may cut 1,200 UK staff

THE British division of HSBC PLC said yesterday that it may lay off as many as 1,200 staff following a review of operations.

The affected staff represent about 2 percent of HSBC's 58,000 employees in Britain.

The cuts are being made in information technology, human resources and other support operations, not in front-line branch staff, the company said.

HSBC UK said some employees would be able to take other positions within the company.

"The operating environment for banks in the UK is extremely challenging and will remain so for some time," said Paul Thurston, the UK managing director.

HSBC shares were up half a percent at 114.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

On March 2, HSBC reported that its net profit fell 70 percent in 2008 to US$5.7 billion, due to greater charges on the value of its assets and additional operating expenses.


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