HSBC shuts private wealth unit

In Cayman Islands

HSBC has decided to close its Private Wealth Solutions department in Cayman, amidst a restructuring that will see the consolidation of HSBC Cayman’s private wealth business in Bermuda.

The move will result in a number of redundancies in HSBC’s local private wealth solutions department.

When the decision was taken in September, HSBC Cayman’s CEO Gonzalo Jalles said in a statement: ‘It is unfortunate that redundancies in HSBC Cayman may occur. The bank has benefitted greatly from the dedication and hard work that the PWS staff has given the Bank for many years. We will continue to work towards maintaining as many PWS staff as possible.’

Some redundancies have already taken effect. Others will follow as the department’s case load is gradually moved to Bermuda until the end of the year.

HSBC confirmed in September that in total 17 local employees are affected. A number of those have transferred to other positions within HSBC Group outside of Cayman.

All redundant staff have the opportunity to apply for internal vacancies as they become available and also qualify to receive out-placement assistance, the company said in a statement.

In what the bank described as a measure to enhance its operating business model, HSBC has begun to consolidate its Private Wealth Solutions business in dedicated centres for each geographic region.

The Bermuda ‘Centre of Excellence’ for the Americas region is hoped to improve service efficiencies by centralising all Caribbean trust operations.

HSBC Cayman said the restructuring was the result of group corporate changes to leverage increased systemic efficiencies.

The bank maintained the importance of Cayman as a company location. In 2010, HSBC Cayman is planning to expand in the Cayman Islands with increased retail banking offerings.

Mr. Jalles emphasised HSBC Cayman’s commitment to growth saying: ‘Over the past 18 months the increase in staff has been progressive and has expanded from approximately 60 to over 100.

‘The Bank plans to continue this expansion of services in the Cayman Islands in 2010. We are here to stay and as our business grows, I look forward to a staff expansion that matches our growth.’