Among the details to emerge in the US investigation of HSBC as the narco barons banker of choice were the larger-than-usual cashier windows in Mexican branches to get more notes through. Nice to see that the bank that I use and invest in is so customer-friendly.
And its continuing to try to improve investor returns:
— The selling selling of its entire 15.6% stake in Ping An Insurance, the big insurer based in Shenzhen, to Charoen Pokphand Group* means HSBC has sold more than 40 noncore assets since the beginning of 2011 and booked about $4 billion in gains on those sales this year alone, DealBook reports. HSBC expects to book an after-tax gain of US$2.6 bn on the Ping An sale (more than enough to pay the US$1.9bn US fine).
— In October, it announced that it will close its Islamic finance operations in six markets, maintaining its presence only in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and a scaled-down operation in Indonesia.
*controlled by the Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont. The deal is to be financed partly by the state lender China Development Bank,