American Express is to cut about 4,000 jobs worldwide as part of a “re-engineering” initiative to save $800 million.

The job losses will affect around 6% of the company’s workforce and will occur across business units, markets and staff groups and is expected to save about $175 million.

Reduced investment spending will save a further $500 million, while $125 million will be saved by cutting expenses for consulting and other professional services, travel and general overheads.

Chairman and chief executive Kenneth Chenault said: “We believe these efforts will put us in a better position to remain profitable. It will also free up additional resources that will be reinvested in the business to make sure we can take competitive advantage of opportunities as the economy begins to rebound.”