HSBC Holdings’ (LON:HSBA) new chief executive John Flint and Chairman Mark Tucker are considering shrinking the bank’s global footprint, Bloomberg has revealed today. The move would be part of a plan set to be revealed over the coming months.
HSBC’s share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, having given up 1.08 percent to 656.40p as of 14:11 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.42 percent in the red at 7,001.05 points. The group’s shares have added about 0.8 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a 4.4-percent dip in the Footsie.
New boss weighs country exits
Sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that John Flint, who took over as HSBC chief executive in February, was reviewing as many as a quarter of the 67 countries the bank operates in, and was mulling an exit or sale from smaller consumer operations such as Bermuda, Malta and Uruguay. The people added that the CEO was further looking at expanding the asset management unit, potentially merging it with a rival. Discussions about the Asia-focused lender’s strategy, however, are reportedly at an early stage, and no final decisions have been made.
The sources further elaborated that while the countries under review may be profitable, Flint and Tucker wanted to sharpen the focus on the trade corridor which runs from Asia, through the Middle East and Europe, to North and Central America.
Executives at Europe’s biggest lender are reportedly scheduled to hold an internal strategy meeting in June and later unveil the new three year plan alongside first-half results.
HSBC is set to hold its annual general meeting on April 20, while its first-quarter results will follow on May 4.