HSBC PHILIPPINES is set to absorb its retail banking unit HSBC Savings Bank as the lender aims to streamline its operations in the country.

“HSBC (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd.) will combine the retail bank operations of HSBC Savings Bank and HSBC Philippines under the latter entity,” the global lender’s local unit said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Investment and insurance needs will be centralized through the new wealth management business, HSBC Wealth, incorporated as HSBC Investment and Insurance Brokerage, Philippines, Inc. (HIIB), which was established in September this year. Its Commercial Banking and Global Banking and Market business continues to be served under HSBC Philippines,” it added.

The move aims to streamline the bank’s operations to support the growth of its retail customer base. The merger is set to begin within the first half of 2023.

“These changes will ensure we continue to build a market leading franchise in the Philippines and a bank that’s fit for the future. Most importantly, being an international bank, we are here to continuously connect our retail and corporate customers to opportunities in more than 60 countries across the globe,” HSBC Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Uppal said.

“We are simplifying our retail banking business in the Philippines to improve customer experience and broaden our service offerings,” HSBC Philippines Head of Wealth and Personal Banking Peter Faulhaber.

The bank said with the merger, its customers will be able to avail of its products easily.

It said its services will not be disrupted with the change as it aims for “a seamless transition of customer accounts from the savings bank to HSBC Philippines.”

“Our savings bank customers will be kept informed of the migration process through various channels such as electronic direct mails, SMS and letters. They may also get in touch with us through our branch network, our contact center or through their assigned Relationship Managers,” Mr. Faulhaber said.

“Customers of HSBC Savings Bank Greenhills and Rockwell branches will be serviced by any HSBC Philippines branch. Alabang Branch will remain and be rebranded as an HSBC Philippines branch. The restructuring and addition of the HSBC Savings Bank branches will fit in with HSBC’s plan to enhance its retail banking business in the Philippines, where the Group has been expanding and upgrading its branches across the Philippines over the past two years,” HSBC Philippines added. — A.M.C. Sy