HSBC To Shutter Private Banking Business In India

According to press reports HSBC Holdings Plc is set to quit its private banking unit in India as part of its ongoing group strategy, the bank said, marking the exit of another foreign bank from the cut-throat wealth management business in Asia's third-largest economy.

"After a strategic review of the operations in India, we have decided to close the business," a spokesman said. "This marks further progress in the HSBC group strategy to simplify business and deliver sustainable growth."

The bank is thought to be proposing to offer existing private banking clients the choice to move to HSBC Premier, the bank's mass affluent global retail banking and wealth management platform.

The process is likely to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

Numerous international wealth managers rushed to enter the Indian wealth market a few years ago enticed by the long-term growth prospects and considerable population.

Morgan Stanley and The Royal Bank of Scotland recently disposed of their onshore Indian private banking divisions whereas Swiss banking group Julius Baer has recently set up shop in India, almost three years after acquiring DSP Merrill Lynch's domestic wealth management business. The launch was deferred on account of a delay in approvals from a bevy of regulators and 'complications' in the deal.

Currently HSBC's private banking business in India is estimated to number about 70 staff, a source with direct knowledge of the development said, adding many of them would be redeployed to other bank operations.



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