HSBC is making the move due in part to the recent worsening of the credit crunch, which has seen the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and a wave of takeovers and nationalisations of other large financial institutions.
A total of 120,000 jobs have been lost in the banking sector worldwide since the beginning of the crisis last year, Bloomberg reports.
Credit losses and asset writedowns related to the crunch have also topped $500 billion.
Gavin Hewett, HSBC spokesman, told the news agency that the move had been made "in the light of the current global business and economic environment" and the bank's "cautious outlook for 2009".
He added: "Markets continue to be challenging and difficult but our strategy leave us well positioned for the next wave of global growth, when it comes."
The job cuts equate to around four per cent of HSBC's total staff numbers.