Banking major HSBC said that it will be taking a €1.9bn ($2.3bn) pre-tax loss on the sale of its French retail banking business to Cerebrus-backed MyMoney Group. MyMoney will be buying HSBC’s 244 branches, 3,900 staff and 800,000 customers across France. “The business was generating a sizeable loss, in a country where we are subscale and in a market that is challenged for returns…We have better choices available to us. Investing in the UK and Asia offers higher returns” CEO Noel Quinn told the FT. The exit from France is their second this year after exiting their mass market US retail banking business last month. HSBC is increasing its focus primarily on Asia and cutting costs in the west. HSBC Group has a strong capital position, with a CET 1 ratio of 15.9% as at end-2020. The pre-tax loss on the sale is expected to see an estimated decrease in the consolidated CET 1 capital ratio of 15bp, they noted.
HSBC’s bonds were flat – its 6.375% Perps were at 111.5, yielding 3.1%