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Business

HSBC in Talks on Future of German Units

British bank HSBC is "in talks" on the future of its German unit HSBC Trinkaus und Burkhardt, HSBC Holdings chief Stephen Green told business daily Handelsblatt in an interview Tuesday. "The minority shareholders have approached us to discuss current structural changes in the German banking market," Green said. "We think it's a good idea, but I can't say any more," he said. HSBC holds a 73.5-percent stake in HSBC Trinkaus und Burkhardt. The German public-sector bank LBBW holds a stake of 20.3 percent. Recent press reports have suggested that LBBW wants to raise its stake in HSBC Trinkaus und Burkhardt to a majority in a move that would allow LBBW to diversify its activities just as Germany's state-owned regional banks or "Landesbanken" have lost their state guarantees. And if the deal goes ahead, it could also fuel the current debate in Germany over the strict division between private and public-sector banks in the eurozone's biggest economy. HSBC Trinkaus und Burkhardt specializes in offering financial services to wealthy clients and family-run businesses. Green told Handelsblatt that he was "satisfied" with developments at HSBC Trinkaus und Burkhardt. Asked about HSBC's future presence in Germany, he replied: "We will not withdraw from any market where we're continuing to grow."

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