HSBC winds down US retail banking business

The HSBC Holdings plc has revealed its intentions to exit its US domestic mass-market retail banking business after 40 years of trying to run a full-service bank in the United States. Europe’s largest lender will exit 90 branches of its current network which includes 148 branches. The remaining 25 will be turned into international wealth management centres.

In HSBC’s announcement, the company said its remaining “small network of physical locations” in the US will switch focus to “international banking and wealth management” — and the “needs of globally connected affluent and high net worth clients,” in particular.

The decision to exit the US retail banking business was a long time coming with the US operations of HSBC struggling to gain a footing there.


In the official announcement, HSBC also said it is planning to sell parts of its business to other US companies. The London-based lender revealed it has agreed to sell its East Coast retail unit, which includes 800,000 customers and 80 branches, to Citizens Bank.

Cathay Bank is planning to buy the company’s retail business in the West Coast which has around 50,000 customers and 10 branches. Both transactions are pending regulatory approval.

Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, commented:

Noel Quinn, HSBC

Noel Quinn

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.

Quinn continued:

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.

HSBC makes most of its money in Asia. The bank told its investors recently it was planning to focus on China, southeast Asia and India. HSBC shared plans to invest more in the region to drive future growth.

HSBC confirmed this week it is not planning to launch crypto trading,  following Bitcoin’s recent 50% slump after China’s latest crackdown on crypto trading and Elon Musk’s last week critique on Bitcoin energy consumption and reversing his position on Tesla accepting Bitcoin as payment.


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