HSBC bets on Asian wealth as profits tumble

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HSBC is betting on a new strategy after its earnings took a tumble.

Europe’s biggest bank said Tuesday (February 23) that profits fell by just over a third last year.

They dropped to $8.78 billion in 2020 as the global health crisis took a toll.

That was down from over $13 billion the year before.

The lender cited low interest rates and tough market conditions, and cut its target for return on equity.

HSBC now plans big cuts in back office functions, such as technology.

It didn’t put a number on any job cuts, which would come after it shed 11,000 posts last year.

Now the bank is betting on rich Asians to turn things around.

It’s pumping investment into wealth management in Greater China and the wider region.

Underperforming units in Europe and North America may be sold off.

HSBC confirmed it’s in talks over a sale of its French retail banking arm.

And it says it’s ‘exploring options’ over its U.S. retail franchise.

HSBC shares fell over one percent from the open in London.