HSBC Holdings plc has decided to put part of its global private bank up for sale, reported Financial News, though the lender has given no details regarding the size or location of the business it plans to sell.
HSBC has, reportedly, reclassified assets as non-core, which reduced revenues and pushed the operation into the red in the first three months of 2013.
The global private bank reported a pre-tax loss of US$125 million, compared with a pre-tax profit of US$286 million in the first quarter of 2012 and US$230 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was partly due to a loss of US$300 million in revenue which related to the reclassification of a non-strategic business in global private banking.
Analysts say the segment of the business HSBC plans to sell is likely to be located in Europe because of regional performance figures published and because it is the private bank’s biggest market, according to Financial News. It is also a region where growth is less promising and regulation is making business more costly.
HSBC’s private bank’s business in Europe reported a pre-tax loss of US$242 million in the first quarter, compared with a US$165 million pre-tax profit in the same period a year ago. That loss was the biggest of any region.
HSBC’s private banking business has already sold its Japan operations.
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