HSBC is considering exit from retail banking in the United States

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HSBC Holdings Plc is considering shutting down its retail banking operations in the United States after narrowing the options for how to improve performance at its struggling North America business, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The bank’s senior management will present the plan to the board in the coming weeks, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

The bank announced last month it planned to reduce annual costs to below $31 billion by 2022, a more ambitious target than it set out in February and well below the operating expenses of $42.3 billion it reported in 2019.

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The British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company also said it would speed up restructuring its U.S. business, where much bigger players have long dominated the market.

The report noted that a complete withdrawal from all operations in the U.S is not being considered. The bank seems to be considering exit only from retail operations. Senior managers may recommend reducing Investment banking clients to allow them focus on international clients, especially those with links to Asia and the Middle East.

HSBC ceased retail banking operations in Thailand and Japan in 2012.

With total assets of $2.715 trillion as of August 2020, HSBC is the largest bank in Europe and the 6th largest bank in the world.

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The bank traces its origin to a hong in British Hong Kong. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) opened branches in Shanghai in 1865 and was first formally incorporated in 1866. Its present form was established in London by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to act as a new group holding company in 1991. The main purpose was to perform exchanges between Europe and China, and it still stays crucial in such actions.

When contacted, the bank declined to comment on the report about its plan to exit from retail banking in the United States.