HSBC is winding down much of its US business to turn its attention to richer clients.
The British bank announced Wednesday that it was closing most of its retail banking locations in the country, reducing its current footprint from 148 branches to about 25. Those that will remain will be turned into international wealth management centers.
While HSBC (HBCYF) will remain in the United States, its team there will switch the focus of its retail business to “international banking and wealth management” — and specifically the “needs of globally connected affluent and high net worth clients,” it said in a statement.
The decision to pull back was widely anticipated. HSBC has repeatedly warned of the need to cut costs in recent years, especially in the United States, where it has long struggled to gain a foothold among everyday consumers.
“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,” CEO Noel Quinn said in the statement.