12 May 2011

HSBC looking to trim costs

9:05 am on 12 May 2011

HSBC intends to reduce retail banking and may sell its US credit card arm in a bid to cut $US3.5 billion in costs and revive flagging profits.

Europe's biggest bank plans to move away from the classic retail banking sector, and focus on commercial and investment banking.

It's also getting out of countries that have proved unprofitable, like Russia, and instead plans to invest in faster growing economies like Turkey, Mexico, and wider regions, like Asia and the Middle East.

The bank is also streamlining IT operations and the operational structure.

HSBC disclosed the plans on Wednesday. The BBC reports the bank's problems were revealed on Monday after a big rise in costs.

HSBC operates in 87 markets and employs more than 287,000 people. It has 95 million customers.