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July 3, 2020

HSBC commits to investments in mainland China

British banking group HSBC is considering new investments in wealth management and insurance in mainland China.

The move comes as the bank faced a lot of flak for supporting Beijing’s new security legislation to crack down on Hong Kong.

At launch, the digital wealth and insurance planning services will serve new customers in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

HSBC also plans to set up a fintech company to support its business.

Certain shareholders of the bank along with UK lawmakers have called out the bank for its support for the new National Security Law in Hong Kong, its largest market, which critics say undermines freedom in the city.

HSBC head of wealth and personal banking in Asia-Pacific Greg Hingston said: “These new investments mark HSBC’s continued efforts to capture high-growth opportunities in Asia, particularly in mainland China, the region’s biggest wealth pool and one of the world’s largest insurance markets.”

HSBC has undergone a major restructure recently, which includes the integration of its retail banking, wealth management, and global private banking units.

The combined entity has $1.4trn in assets.

The bank also plans to lay off 35,000 people as part of a revamp.

HSBC saw its pre-tax profit drop by 33%, to $13.3bn, in 2019.

For Q4 2019, there was a loss before tax of $3.9bn, largely attributed to a goodwill impairment of $7.3bn.

 

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