How European banks had a ‘false dawn’ in the US
Whether the pre-crisis years were a boom or not for European banks in the US, many executives believe that the seeds for their decline were laid in that period
New York — When HSBC interim CEO Noel Quinn announced a dramatic overhaul in February to try to restore the bank’s fortunes, he took aim at what has now become a familiar target for European bank bosses — the US market.
HSBC, which in only 2019 was talking about adding 50 more retail branches to its 220-strong US network, is now closing 30% of its branches after admitting the division is loss-making. Its US trading business is in the line of fire too; Quinn is cutting its assets as measured by risk by 45%, a bigger reduction than HSBC’s businesses elsewhere, after profits from the US markets business fell by more than 20% in 2019.