The axe is hanging over thousands of Scottish financial services workers after banking giant HSBC confirmed it was cutting up to 25,000 jobs in a major global restructure.
Around 8,000 roles in the UK, the equivalent of one in six of its total British workforce of 48,000 staff, could go over the next two years as the bank streamlines its structure and cuts costs.
The move could have a heavy impact in Scotland where HSBC employs in the region of 3,700 staff, mainly in the Central Belt but also in locations across the north east including Dundee and Perth.
The workforce north of the border is employed in a variety of roles from customer-facing positions in bank branches to contact centre jobs.
The bank also operates a commercial banking centre in Glasgow.
HSBC, whose chairman is Scottish banker Douglas Flint, said it was too early to say where the UK job cuts would be made.
Details of the cuts came during a presentation by the bank on Tuesday entitled: Actions to capture value from our global presence in a changed world.
Among the actions outlined was a target to achieve between £2.9 billion and £3.3bn of annualised savings by the end of 2017.
HSBC also confirmed it would finish its review of where to base its headquarters by the end of this year, after announcing recently it was considering a move away from the UK due to regulatory and structural reforms.
Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the actions, which include the proposed sale of assets in Turkey and Brazil and a renewed focus on traditional markets in Asia, would “transform” the group.
He said: “We recognise the world has changed and we need to change with it.”
Unite the Union reacted angrily to the jobs announcement, saying ordinary staff were being punished for boardroom misconduct.
National officer for finance Dominic Hook said: “ This latest wave of job losses is a stab in the back to a dedicated workforce who have put HSBC back on the road to recovery since 2008.
“After all the scandals of recent years, frontline staff have suffered time and time again as they are forced to pay for the mistakes of others with their jobs.”