The Daily Telegraph

HSBC took advice from investment banks over break-up

- By Patrick Mulholland

HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn has said he was “challenged” by external advisers about a potential break-up of the bank but ultimately concluded it would be “a net negative”.

Mr Quinn said HSBC carried out “detailed analysis of strategic options” after pressure from its largest shareholde­r, the Chinese insurer Ping An, and Hong Kong-based retailer investors to split the bank in two.

“When one of your largest shareholde­rs presents a view of the strategy that is different to your view as a management team, you’ve got to take that seriously – and as you’d expect, we have,” he said at a conference hosted by Bank of America in New York yesterday.

“I wanted to be challenged. I wanted some analysis. I wanted external parties – investment banks and legal advisers – to make sure we’d done a good job.”

HSBC received advice from Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, a boutique investment bank. Mr Quinn said management had “taken the board through all that work” but concluded a break-up was “a net negative”.

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