HSBC will suspend offering wealth management products in Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon as the British lender continues to exit small or insufficiently profitable operations globally as part of a strategic review.
HSBC has cut its retail banking business in some Middle Eastern nations and has merged its Oman operations with a local bank as part of a three-year global restructuring initiated by CEO Stuart Gulliver.
The global move, which has seen the bank exit or sell 54 businesses to improve profitability, has also cut its Islamic and private banking operations.
"HSBC’s global strategy for retail banking and wealth management is to offer and grow the wealth business in markets where we can achieve scale," the bank reported to Reuters.
A HSBC spokesperson said: "After a detailed review of our MENA business, we will discontinue sales of any new wealth investment or wealth insurance products in Lebanon, Jordan and Bahrain from October 7, 2013."
HSBC’s wealth management operations, which falls under its retail and wealth management division operates as a private banking business separately.
The bank added that its existing customers will continue to receive basic services and their wealth management-related investments will be maintained until maturity.
The lender, with presence in 14 Middle Eastern countries, has informed employees about the decision internally and those affected will be absorbed by other teams within HSBC’s retail and wealth management division, reported Reuters.
"Staff have not been made redundant as a result of this decision. Premier customers remain a strategic priority and premier relationship managers will remain a key part of our business in Lebanon, Jordan and Bahrain, providing Premier services and non-wealth saving, borrowing and international banking solutions to our existing Premier customers," spokesperson added.