HSBC says to close 24 retail banking branches in India

MUMBAI, May 19 (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings Plc said it plans to close 24 branches in India after a strategic review of its retail banking and wealth management business showed that customers are increasingly opting for digital banking services.

The bank said it would consolidate from 50 branches across 29 cities to 26 branches across 14 cities, and the closures will take place gradually over the next few months.

The move comes five months after the lender said it was exiting its private banking unit in India as part of its group strategy.

"India is a priority market for HSBC and we will continue to invest to achieve sustainable growth by supporting the needs of our customers," Stuart Milne, group general manager and chief executive officer of HSBC India, said in a statement.

The branches being closed account for less than 10 percent of the company’s retail customer base in India, the bank said.

It added that it plans to invest further in its retail banking and wealth management business, and would soon announce "an expanded proposition to cater to its top tier clients and further technology deployments for the benefit of its retail customers."

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