HSBC France is seeking to cut 255 of 678 jobs in its French global banking and markets unit by end-2021, according to French news daily, Les Echos.

HSBC France

HSBC France is seeking to cut 255 of 678 jobs.

This measure forms part of a broader plan to reduce costs. It comes at a time when the group is seeking to sell its private bank in France, which includes some 250 branches and 3,500 to 5,000 employees depending on the scope chosen.

HSBC’s France office union said on its website that the departures will take place on a voluntary basis. But if there were not enough volunteers, there would be “layoffs for economic reasons”.

The moves is a part of HSBC’s restructuring plan, which provides for the elimination of 35,000 positions worldwide, out of a total workforce of 235,000 employees. The idea came from its newly appointed chief executive, Noel Quinn, who’s strategy involves pivoting further towards Asia

It initially halted its plans in March due to the coronavirus crisis. However, it announced that these plans are back on the table on 17 June.

An HSBC spokeswoman in Paris says the bank had presented a strategy for its global banking and markets to staff in France.

Read more: HSBC delays ‘vast majority’ of redundancies amid COVID-19

“Its principle would be to reallocate capital and resources to overcome the structural challenges in this business, to focus on profitable activities, reduce the cost base and thus safeguard our competitiveness,” says the bank in an emailed statement.

At the same time, HSBC is reaffirming its strategy in France. “We are creating an integrated European continental bank anchored in Paris, connecting our customers to the global HSBC network and providing access to Continental Europe for HSBC customers worldwide,” a bank source tells Les Echos.

As part of Brexit, the French subsidiary has integrated several European branches. However, the bank did not completely follow its initial ambitions to transfer 1,000 bankers from London to Paris.

It added that its strategy was to be a “leading international bank in Europe” and to continue to have an anchor in Paris that would help provide access to continental Europe for clients around the world.