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HSBC weighing disposal of French retail operations: Bloomberg
Posted on Monday, 13 January 2020 10:32
UK-based lender HSBC Holdings is considering a sale of its French retail operations and has already reached out to potential suitors to gauge interest, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

According to the sources, the bank has sent out a business overview to possible buyers said to include La Banque Postale, Credit Agricole, Credit Mutuel, Milleis Banque and BNP Paribas.

HSBC has also reached out to private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Cerberus Capital Management to sound out potential interest, the insiders noted, asking not to be identified as the situation is still private.

These people cautioned that the process is in the early stages and there is no guarantee of a sale taking place, or that any offers for the business will be tabled.

Although, HSBC has already gone as far as hiring Lazard to assist on the process, the sources observed.

The lender’s retail banking and wealth management division serves 38.00 million customers worldwide, helping to manage day-to-day finances and save for the future.

HSBC has around 230 retail branches in France, which together have between 4,000 and 8,000 employees, which Bloomberg’s insiders observed could be taken off its payroll if a deal is announced.

The news provider noted that the news is part of chief executive Noel Quinn’s plans to cut costs.

At 30th September 2019, the bank recorded total assets of USD 2,728 billion, common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 14.3 per cent and leverage ratio of 5.4 per cent.

Shares in HSBC rose 1.3 per cent to 592.20 pence at 08:50 today, giving the business a market capitalisation of USD 120.30 billion.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 130 deals targeting the banking, insurance and financial services sector announced worldwide in the opening two weeks of 2020.

Last year, this figure reached 11,848 transactions worth USD 783.70 billion, compared to 11,965 and USD 901.53 billion, respectively, in 2018.

In the largest deal signed off globally in 2019, Fidelity National Information Services picked up payment processing services provider Worldpay for USD 43.00 billion.

This was closely followed by Fiserv buying automated teller machines installer First Data for USD 39.00 billion.

© Zephus Ltd