News Column

HSBC pares back its private banking arm

June 25, 2014

STEVE SLATER



HSBC is halving the number of countries its private bank serves, after selling a portfolio of Swiss banking assets, the latest bank to narrow its wealth management focus in a bid to improve profits and cut compliance risk.


The bank, Europe's biggest by market value, said its private bank served customers from about 150 countries, but that was being reduced to about 70.


Most of that cut will be achieved through a deal agreed yesterday to sell $12.5bn (7.36bn) of its Swiss private banking assets to Liechtenstein's biggest bank LGT Group Foundation.


Those assets were held by clients in dozens of countries that HSBC has deemed as not strategically important.


HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver has sold or closed more than 60 businesses in the last three years as it shuts areas that are lossmaking or lack scale.


The sale represents about three per cent of HSBC private banking assets under management.


Reuters


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Source: City A.M. (UK)


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