HSBC closes its industrial metals business

Peter Hobson
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of HSBC at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur

By Peter Hobson

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc has decided to close its industrial metals business, it told Reuters on Friday, as Europe's largest bank pushes ahead with plans to cut around 35,000 jobs.

HSBC was a small player in industrial metals. It exited the business in 2005 but had in recent years began to slowly re-enter, with around 2-3 staff in the unit.

Returns were too low to justify its continuation, sources said. "We remain focused on growing our leading position in precious metals," an HSBC spokesman said, declining to comment further.

The 35,000 job losses from HSBC's staff of 235,000 are part of a wider restructuring to cut $4.5 billion in costs as profits fall and economic forecasts point to a challenging time ahead.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by Jason Neely)

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