HSBC Parts Ways with COO Andre Cronje Despite Layoffs Pause

HSBC has reportedly parted ways with Andre Cronje, the chief operating officer of its global markets business. The departure of Cronje came a few weeks after the British lender said it had put its recently-announced job cuts plan on hold in order to limit the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its staff.

HSBC has pressed pause on its mass redundancy package, but a memo seen by eFinancialCareers says Andre’ decided to seek alternative employment’ and that his role won’t be replaced.

HSBC has onboarded Andre Cronje from rival group UBS AG back in 2016 to take on the role of COO of its Global Banking and Markets (GBM) unit. Cronje served as the COO of UBS since 2013, during which he oversaw a multitude of functions, including regulatory remediation and cost reduction programs, among other initiatives.

Noel Quinn, HSBC’s newly-appointed chief executive, outlined plans in February to cut 35,000 jobs across the group and restructure part of its global markets business. The bank reportedly planned to cut up to 10,000 jobs in 2019, or nearly four percent of its full-time headcount as it becomes the next bank to succumb to the global slump in banking revenues.

HSBC quietly held rounds of layoffs

The British bank has been laying off senior people in a bid to cut costs. It has unexpectedly parted ways with its CEO John Flint in August, less than two years after his appointment. The lender was vague over the cause of its former executive chief, saying only that the decision was “mutual” and that its board believed a change was needed to meet the challenges it faced.

The cuts anyways follow a turbulent period for HSBC. The investment bank, which gets most of its business in Asia, also suffered an exodus of high-profile executives after the meltdown hit the business in financial markets, which put further pressure on the CEO to rein in costs.

Elsewhere, HSBC was bracing itself in anticipation of new charges amounting to several millions of pounds over foreign exchange manipulation after a fresh class-action lawsuit was triggered by ECU Group. The UK-based FX investment firm has sued Europe’s largest lender by assets in London, asking for HSBC to disclose internal records centering on three large forex orders that it executed in 2006.

ECU believes that this market manipulation, pulled off through traders’ coordinated transactions and exchange of confidential customer information, caused the firm to pay higher prices than they would have in a competitive market.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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