HSBC to Sell Most of Its US Retail Banking Business

HSBC announced late Wednesday its plans to exit to sell 90 of its 148 branches in the U.S. and to wind down another 35 to 40 as part of its plans to focus on “international banking and wealth management” and specifically on richer clients, The Wall Street Journal claims.

The British-based lender said it was closing most of its retail banking locations in the country and those that will remain will be turned into international wealth management centers.

Pulling back decision of HSBC (HBCYF), who will remain in the States, was widely anticipated after the repeated warnings of the bank in recent years it needs to cut costs after the long struggle to gain a foothold among everyday consumers.

The bank has agreed to sell parts of its business to two U.S. regional banks, Citizens Bank, who will buy its retail unit on the East Coast as well as an online portfolio, and Cathay Bank, who plans to purchase HSBC’s retail operations.

HSBC, which makes most of its money in in Hong Kong and mainland China, lately has been increasingly shifting resources to the Asia region, where it is planning to step up its investments mainly in China, southeast Asia and India as key drivers of its future growth.

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