The bank has 48,000 UK workers and will make cuts in both its retail and investment banking operations reports BBC.
A total of 25,000 jobs could be axed globally, meaning close to 10% of HSBC’s 266,000 workers will go.
The bank will also ‘ringfence’ its UK operations and sell businesses in Turkey and Brazil, it said.
Speaking to BBC, Dominic Hook, national officer with the union Unite, called on HSBC to achieve any job cuts through voluntary means and natural attrition. He said the bank had not had a voluntary redundancy scheme in the past.
“It’s really sad that all our members, all the hard work they’ve done to try to get the bank back working properly after all the scandals of the last few years, are going to be paying with their jobs,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed said the UK job cuts would come as a shock to staff: “Global banking now is a far tougher business than it was pre-the financial crisis. It is hard to get profits.”
HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver is “running a bank that investors believe simply doesn’t make enough money”, he added.
Our correspondent said the bank was now looking to “reduce its footprint in developed economies”.