Europe’s biggest lender, HSBC has announced its plans to close its retail banking and wealth management businesses in South Korea from Monday 8 July.

The bank plans to close 10 of its 11 branches in Korea pending regulatory approval. Its corporate banking services will remain open.

The plans are part of a push to improve profitability: HSBC’s global review has seen it close or dispose of 52 businesses worldwide since May 2011.

HSBC has tried many times to build up its Korean retail business since 1998, walking away from talks with the Korean government to buy SeoulBank in 1999 and losing a bit in 2005 for Korea First Bank to Standard Chartered Plc.

In April HSBC sold the stake that it had bought in 2007 in South Korea’s Hana HSBC Life Insurance Co. back to Hana Financial Group Inc.

Read more about HSBC in the news.


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