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HSBC exiting US retail banking to focus on wealth management

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British banking giant HSBC says it is closing its U.S. retail banking business in order to refocus its efforts on wealth management

NEW YORK — British banking giant HSBC says it is closing its U.S. retail banking business in order to refocus its efforts on wealth management.

The bank will sell 80 East Coast branches to Citizens Bank and another 10 on the West Coast to Cathay Bank. All deposits and bank accounts will be transferred to those two banks, HSBC said. Another 20 to 25 branches will be converted into wealth management centers, and any remaining branches will be closed.

London-based HSBC is one of the world’s largest banks, but its focus is primarily in Hong Kong, where it was founded, and elsewhere in Asia, and in the U.K. and Europe.

HSBC announced the move late Wednesday after earlier this year saying was looking to sell or pursue other strategic options for its U.S. retail banking business. The business is small, making it hard to compete against big banks like JPMorgan Chase, which dominate on the East Coast.

“They are good businesses, but we lacked the scale to compete,” said HSBC’s CEO Noel Quinn said in a statement.

The bank expects the sale of its U.S. retail banking business to close by early 2022.