HSBC has combined the roles of chief information officer and chief operating officer.

Ken Harvey, currently CIO, is set to become chief technology and services officer from Wednesday. Current COO David Hodgkinson will retire at the end of the year.

HSBC said the move was crucial to helping it cut costs and improve customer "experience". It emerged on Friday that the firm has plans to cut 500 investment banking posts in London, a large proportion of which are thought to be back office and processing positions as well as those in IT functions.

Harvey will report directly to HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan, who maintained that the move reflected the importance HSBC attached to technology.

“By combining our technology and worldwide operations more closely we can re-engineer customers' experience of HSBC and at the same time drive down the unit cost of production,” Geoghegan added.

HSBC, which is creating a major new banking integration platform based on SAP NetWeaver, said last month it was consolidating IT onto a single global system. The 'One HSBC' programme is aimed at cutting costs.

In June, the bank renewed an IT services deal with Capgemini to help it launch products more quickly, improve customer service, meet compliance rules, and open for business in new markets.

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