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HSBC Expands Presence in China with Latest Citigroup Acquisition

In a strategic move to fortify its position in the thriving Chinese market, HSBC Holdings has announced the acquisition of Citigroup's mainland China retail wealth management division. The London-based banking giant revealed that the portfolio boasts an impressive $3.6 billion in assets and serves clients across 11 major cities. Notably, this acquisition excludes Citi's mainland China credit cards, mortgages, and loan portfolios.

HSBC's decision to integrate the purchased business into its existing China wealth and personal banking operations underscores its commitment to catering to the evolving financial needs of Chinese consumers. The transaction is slated to conclude in the first half of 2024, signaling HSBC's confidence in the long-term economic development of China.

HSBC Asia-Pacific co-CEO David Liao emphasized the bank's extensive investment across all aspects of its mainland China operations. This move aligns with their goal to meet the burgeoning wealth demands of Chinese consumers. As China boasts the second-largest population of high-net-worth individuals globally, with an estimated $5.3 trillion in wealth, HSBC's strategic acquisition positions them to tap into this lucrative market.

China's ultra-high net-worth population, comprising individuals with assets exceeding $30 million, is projected to witness an astounding 50% surge by 2027, according to Knight Frank. This surge solidifies China's position as a pivotal player in the global wealth landscape.

HSBC's acquisition aims to broaden its mainland China wealth customer base, with a particular emphasis on the affluent and emerging affluent segments. The Greater Bay Area, encompassing nine cities in southern Guangdong province, along with Hong Kong and Macau, presents an unprecedented opportunity for growth amidst this burgeoning wealth landscape.

Crucially, HSBC's foray into mainland China's financial services sector is not a recent development. In 2020, the bank acquired HSBC Life China, taking advantage of Beijing's progressive financial services sector opening rules. This strategic move further reinforced HSBC's position in this dynamic market.

HSBC's wealth and personal banking CEO, Nuno Matos, articulated the centrality of mainland China to their ambition of becoming the premier wealth manager in Asia. This acquisition marks a significant milestone in their journey, bolstering their capabilities and extending their wealth coverage.

Citigroup's decision to withdraw from mainland China's consumer banking arena in April 2021 provided HSBC with a prime opportunity to further strengthen its foothold in the region. As HSBC continues to invest and innovate, it is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of mainland China and beyond. With a clear focus on the future, HSBC is poised to lead the way in wealth management in one of the world's most dynamic economies.