The future's bright, the future's job cuts. That wasn't how HSBC put it, but you get the gist.
A bank that employed 300,000 staff in 2011, and has 254,000 today, wants to have 240,000 by the end of 2016.
All that slimming hasn't enabled the chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, to meet his original cost-to-income target. HSBC is at 55%, against a target of 48%-52%, but that's partly because revenues have disappointed. Never mind, victory has been declared anyway on the grounds that revenue growth is still beating cost growth.
HSBC's tale, one suspects, will be the entire banking industry's for several years. In a lower-growth world where technology can do more of the work, job losses will keep coming.
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