Job Cuts Hit Morgan Stanley and HSBC in China and Hong Kong

Job Cuts Hit Morgan Stanley and HSBC in China and Hong Kong

by April 18, 2024

In a move reflecting the challenging market conditions in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in Hong Kong and China, global investment banks Morgan Stanley and HSBC have recently implemented targeted job cuts within their investment banking teams.

Sources indicate that Morgan Stanley has laid off approximately 50 bankers in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, with 80 percent of the affected individuals based in China and Hong Kong.

The cuts come amidst a challenging market environment, as evidenced by the bank’s first-quarter results, which showed a 12 percent year-on-year decline in Asia-Pacific revenues.

Similarly, HSBC is reported to have made a new round of cuts, impacting around 15 analysts, associates, and vice presidents, with the most senior individual affected being a director in equity capital markets.

The bank stated that it continues to invest in its business and allocate resources to immediate opportunities while positioning itself for market recovery. Despite the drop in deals, HSBC’s investment banking revenues grew in 2023, and the bank increased its business with “priority clients.”

Industry headhunters suggest that the current market conditions have made China-focused bankers particularly vulnerable to job cuts. The market has been challenging for an extended period. Additionally, bankers in sales and structuring roles in Hong Kong are also considered at risk.

However, not all banks are experiencing the same challenges in the region. Goldman Sachs, for instance, reported an eight percent increase in its Asia-Pacific revenues during the first quarter and is said to be one of the more active hirers in the market, along with hedge funds.

Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik