Morgan Stanley plans to hire several hundred traders over the next few years to boost its underperforming securities business, new boss James Gorman said in an interview with the Financial Times.

The U.S. investment bank's sales and trading unit had failed to reach many of the investors and companies who wished to do business with the bank, he said.

We need to seriously grow our footprint in products like currencies, equity derivatives, commodities. We could easily be 25 percent bigger than we are, Gorman, who became chief executive on January 1, said in the interview, published on Monday.

The bank lost $807 million in 2009. It returned to profit in the third quarter but weak trading results weighed on its profits in its fourth quarter. Gorman has already announced a shakeup of senior management.

(Reporting by Susan Fenton; Editing by Martin Golan)