HSBC Private Bank has agreed to refer its clients in Monaco to CFM Indosuez Wealth Management as it prepares to wind down its presence in the country.
HSBC will shut down the remainder of its Monaco business after alternative arrangements have been made for any clients who do not transfer to CFM.
The move is a “further simplification” of HSBC’s global private banking business, the bank said in a statement.
HSBC embarked on a major expansion into private banking in 1999 by acquiring the Republic National Bank of New York and Safra Republic Holdings. HSBC has argued that these operations were allowed to operate with different cultures and standards to the wider group at a time when rules for private banking were demanding less secrecy.
A hack of its Swiss operation’s 30 000 accounts in 2007 showed how the bank helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, including doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities.
As part of a plan to shift focus to where it can achieve scale, HSBC has recently shrunk its private banking footprint in several markets, including Turkey, Brazil, Bermuda and India.
As reported earlier this week, Credit Suisse is transferring its Channel Islands-based clients to Stenham Wealth Management.