HSBC to exit subscale U.S. retail banking as part of pivot to Asia

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HSBC (HSBA.L) announced it is withdrawing from U.S. mass market retail banking by selling some parts of its business and winding down others, in a long awaited move as the lender pushes ahead with a shift in focus to Asia, its biggest market.

Europe’s biggest bank has for years been trying to shrink its presence in some European and North American markets where it has struggled against competition from larger domestic players.

The bank said in a statement late on Wednesday it would exit retail banking for most individual and small business customers but retain a small physical presence in the United States to serve its international affluent and very wealthy clients.

“They are good businesses, but we lacked the scale to compete,” Noel Quinn, HSBC group CEO, said in the statement.

HSBC unveiled in February a revised strategy focused mainly on wealth management in Asia, and at the same time said it was “exploring organic and inorganic options” for its…

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