Updated from 3:44 a.m. EDT

The British division of HSBC

HSBC Holdings ( HBC) said Wednesday that it may lay off as many as 1,200 staff following a review of operations.

The affected staff represent about 2% of HSBC's 58,000 employees in Britain.

The cuts are being made in information technology, human resources and other support operations, not in front-line branch staff, the company said.

The news from HSBC follows a report from Bloomberg that the bank planned to cut 1,000 U.K. jobs.

HSBC previously cut about 500 jobs in the U.K. in November and 1,100 positions at its global banking and markets unit in September.

HSBC said earlier this month it would no longer write new consumer loans in the United States and will shut down its U.S. lending unit over the next five years because of the subprime mortgage market's collapse. The decision will cost 6,100 U.S. jobs.

The announcement came as HSBC reported a 70% drop in 2008 net profit and said it would raise almost $18 billion in new capital through a share issue.

Copyright 2008 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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