HSBC withdraws from US retail banking

HSBC has sold its US retail banking network, effectively bringing to a close its struggling North America business after a 40-year attempt to run a full-service bank in the country.

Europe’s largest lender first considered a disposal of its consistently lossmaking American division late last year as part of the bank’s efforts to make deep cost savings of about $4.5bn and cut 35,000 jobs.

HSBC said on Thursday it had sold 80 of its 148 branches on the east coast to Citizens Bank, which has also acquired $9.2bn of deposits and $2.2bn of outstanding loans. Ten branches on the west coast have been purchased by Cathay Bank, which has taken over $1bn of deposits and $800m of loans. The remaining branches will be wound down.

HSBC said it would not generate a “significant gain or loss” from the deals with Citizens Bank and Cathay Bank, other than incurring $100m in costs on the transaction.

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