FILE - In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015 file photo, the HSBC logo is seen through a window where buildings are reflected on to, at a branch in London. HSBC announced on Monday Aug. 5, 2019, the surprise departure of CEO John Flint after 18 months in the job, saying the bank needs new leadership. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
INTERNATIONAL - HSBC Holdings confirmed its plans to eliminate jobs, axing more than 4000 posts and warning that senior executives will be a focus of the cutbacks. 

“We expect this year to have $650million (R9.58billion) to $700m of severance costs; that involves less than 2percent of our workforce,” chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson said. 

“It’s about 4 percent of our total salary costs, so you should assume from that it is targeted at more senior people in the organisation.” 

HSBC is one of several European lenders eliminating roles in recent months, including Barclays and Société Gé* érale. HSBC had 235 217 employees in December 2018, according to its latest annual report. 

John Flint, who has abruptly stepped down after an 18-month tenure as chief executive officer, had already started trimming jobs across the group. 

At the end of April, the bank started a cost review that would lead to job cuts and executives were considering eliminating hundreds of investment banking positions. The reductions were expected to begin at the unit as soon as mid-June.