British banking group HSBC is set to hire around 300 employees for its retail wealth management unit in Asia by the year-end, with a focus on Singapore, reported Reuters.

According to the report, the bank will hire 50 wealth staff in Singapore.

The city will remain HSBC’s focus in addition to its existing core markets of Hong Kong and China.

At present, the size of the bank’s wealth management segment in Singapore is said to be smaller than that of Hong Kong and China.

The bank also plans to roll out new digital services this year.

In an interview to Reuters, HSBC Asia Pacific head of retail banking and wealth management Kevin Martin said: “It’s fair to say that our entire business in Singapore underperformed, and we haven’t hidden from that fact.”

According to Martin, the aim is to tend to onshore and offshore clients.

“As we build Asia wealth … there is a really significant opportunity in Singapore, not just onshore Singapore, but offshore Singapore,” he stated.

In this regard, Reuters cited Capgemini’s wealth report that found Singapore’s HNW population rising 11.5% in 2017.

This placed the city before China, Japan and Australia in terms of ranking.

HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management unit serves customers, who have assets below $5m.

Those above this mark are serviced by the private banking division of the bank.

In the first quarter of 2019, the bank’s retail banking and wealth management arm posted adjusted pre-tax profit of $2.23bn.

This is a rise of 19% from the previous year’s figure of $1.87bn.

Over 80% of HSBC’s profit is said to come from Asia.

Last year, HSBC CEO John Flint unveiled plans to invest $17bn by 2020 to speed up the bank’s growth in Asia.