UK - Neil Ellerbeck, chief investment officer for liquidity at HSBC Asset Management, was due in court today accused of murdering his wife, according to press reports.

Ellerbeck, 45, was arrested on Friday night at his London home following the death of his wife Katherine, 46, the reports stated.

He is responsible for managing the global liquidity investment managers and credit analysts for HSBC's asset management division.

"We can confirm that he is an employee of HSBC working in asset management," a bank spokesperson was quoted saying. "We extend the deepest sympathies to the family." Ellerbeck was due to appear Enfield Magistrates Court later today, the reports said.

Ellerbeck contributed an article for IPE magazine on managing risk - 'Keeping their edge' - in December 2002, while he was a senior fixed income portfolio manager at JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management.

He was a featured speaker at the International Cash and Treasury Management conference in Barcelona last month, sharing the stage with figures such as Mark Mobius and Nick Leeson.

Meanwhile, HSBC said it has cut 500 jobs in Asia, citing deteriorating economic conditions and a "cautious outlook".