May 25, 2020
HSBC board rethinks overhaul and seeks even sharper cuts
HSBC's board is set to deepen the biggest restructuring in the bank's 155-year history after deciding that the coronavirus crisis requires more drastic measures. The board is now pressing executives to restart the restructuring and come up with even more radical changes, including further cuts or even a possible sale of its US business alongside its retail network in France and operations in smaller non-strategic countries. The bank's US business is under particular scrutiny, where HSBC has a small east-coast retail network alongside trading and transaction banking operations. "We've been saying for a decade that HSBC should get out of US retail," said Ronit Ghose, an analyst at Citi, adding that the bank could service US corporate clients "In Asia and internationally without a subscale American retail franchise". HSBC shares now trade at their lowest in more than a decade and retail investors in Hong Kong were furious when the Bank of England forced the bank to cancel its dividend for the first time in 74 years.
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