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HSBC strategically repositions US retail business towards international banking and wealth management

HSBC strategically repositions US retail business towards international banking and wealth management

North AmericaTop Stories

HSBC has announced that it will exit its US domestic mass market retail banking business through several transactions, pending regulatory approval.

It wants to exit 90 branches out of a current branch network of 148 branches. HSBC Bank USA (HBUS) will retain a small network of physical locations in existing markets which will be repurposed into 20-25 international wealth centres. The remaining branches, between 35-40, will be wound down.

It will be exiting all Personal, Advance and certain Premier banking customers (those with balances below US$75,000) and exiting all retail business banking customers (small businesses with turnover of US$5 million and under).

As a result, HBUS will reposition its US Wealth and Personal Banking business to focus on the banking and wealth management needs of globally connected affluent and high net worth clients. HBUS will exit its domestic mass market retail banking business and retail business banking (collectively the ‘Business’) through a number of divestitures, and wind-down of the residual branch network. HBUS has entered into sale agreements, subject to regulatory approval, with Citizens Bank and Cathay Bank for certain parts of the Business.

Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, said: “We are pleased to announce the sale of the domestic mass market of our US retail banking business. They are good businesses, but we lacked the scale to compete.

“Our continued presence in the US is key to our international network and an important contributor to our growth plans. This next chapter of HSBC’s presence in the US will see the team focus on our competitive strengths, connecting our global wholesale and wealth management clients to other markets around the world.”

Citizens Bank has entered into an agreement to purchase the East Coast domestic mass market and retail business banking businesses as well as the online bank portfolio, including 80 branches and approximately 800,000 customer relationships with c. US$9.2 billion in deposits and US$2.2 billion of outstanding loans as at March 31, 2021.

Cathay Bank has entered into an agreement to purchase the West Coast domestic mass market and retail business banking businesses, including 10 branches and approximately 50,000 customer relationships with US$1.0 billion in deposits and US$ 0.8 billion of outstanding loans as at March 31, 2021.

HBUS will retain a small network of physical locations in existing markets which will be repurposed into 20-25 international wealth centres to serve its core international customer base of c.300,000 affluent and high net worth customers (out of a historical base of c.1.4 million). We will wind down the residual branches, between 35-40, not subject to sale or repurposing.

Michael Roberts, CEO, US and Americas, said: “This announcement is an important step towards becoming a more focused, simpler and sustainably profitable organisation. A strong, internationally connected US business is an important part of HSBC’s value proposition, and we are excited to be focusing the US business in areas of competitive strength. At the same time, I am very pleased that we were able to execute this strategic repositioning at pace. It was also important for us to find buyers who would be a good fit for our customers and employees.”

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