HSBC is taking a $3bn hit to exit its French retail banking network, selling the business to US private equity group Cerberus.

The sale for a token €1 follows protracted negotiations with Cerberus, which is buying HSBC’s 244 branches and 800,000 customers in France through its subsidiary MyMoneyGroup, a consumer lending group.

The deal is the latest step in HSBC’s plan to increase its focus on Asia while slashing costs in the west, including 35,000 jobs in Europe and the US. The bank last month sold its 150-branch US retail network.

The transaction with Cerberus will see HSBC book a pre-tax loss of roughly $2.3bn alongside a $700m charge relating to impairment of goodwill, the bank said in a statement on Friday.

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Source: Financial Times

By David Keohane