HSBC, Europe’s biggest asset bank, is planning to cut thousands of employment following the surprise announcement of the departure of Chief Executive John Flint, reported on Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview, HSBC Group Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson informed the Journal that the work cuts will be aimed at senior positions and are anticipated to cut up to 4 percent of the bank’s salary expenses. A mixture of layoffs and attrition would result in reductions.

“Up to 2 percent of the bank’s 237,685 staff could lose their employment,” Reporters Without Borders reported on Monday after HSBC said Flint will step down as CEO on Monday after 18 months of employment.

HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker said of Flint’s departure in a declaration: “In the increasingly complicated and difficult worldwide setting in which the Bank works, the Board thinks that a change is required to satisfy the difficulties we face and seize the very important possibilities before us.” Quoting an individual familiar with the issue, revealed disagreements between Flint and Tucker over. According to a study, these distinctions arose from the weaker strategy taken by Flint to cut expenses and set income objectives for senior executives to increase profit development.

During Monday’s conference call with investors and analysts, Tucker reiterated that there was “no strategic disagreement.” “I believe the aspect we have to do is how we’re going to realize those priorities,” he added.

Another sticking point had to do with turning the U.S. company of the bank around, Reuters stated.

Stevenson said the turnaround in the U.S. company of the bank is “not on track” in the conference call with investors and analysts. He added that the lender is not supposed to reach its target of a 6 percent return on real equity by 2020 due to the difficulty setting.

Replacement For Flint 

HSBC said Noel Quinn, the head of the worldwide commercial banking department of the bank, has been appointed as interim CEO until Flint’s successor is discovered.

Tucker said the bank had no set timeline for appointing a new CEO, but it could take six to twelve months to search. He added that the bank will consider inner as well as external applicants.

In February 2018, Flint, who took over as CEO, began his career at HSBC in 1989 and worked across most of the company units of the bank. He planned to spend $15 billion over three years to $17 billion in fields including technology and China.

Joshua Crabb, senior portfolio manager at asset management firm Robeco, said his surprise departure will leave investors wondering if there will be any change in the approach of the bank.

“When you get a shift of this magnitude, individuals will look for what the reasons are, what to expect if the approach changes,” Crabb informed CNBC’s “Squawk Box” before Tucker’s call with investors and analysts.

In addition to Flint’s announcement of stepping down, the bank published its recent income report. The lender said profit before tax rose to $12.4 billion in the first six months of 2019 by 15.8 percent year-on-year, while income for the same era grew to $29.3 billion by 7.6 percent above the previous year.

HSBC claimed a $1 billion share buyback, challenging the expectations of some analysts that it could stop its approach of lending investors additional capital.

Ronald Wan, the non-executive chairman of Partners Financials Holdings, said HSBC’s recent set of outcomes was “really nice.” Nevertheless, investors should be careful before purchasing the inventory, he said.

“We need to look at what’s going to happen in Hong Kong and what’s going to happen with Brexit (which) in Britain in the second half of this year will have an effect on the bank’s corporate income,” Wan told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Monday.

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