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Collins awaits HSBC's plans for Buffalo area

HSBC Tower, downtown Buffalo
WBFO News file photo
HSBC Tower, downtown Buffalo

By Michael Mroziak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-968179.mp3

Erie County Executive Chris Collins talking to media regarding anticipated plans for HSBC restructuring in Western New York.

Buffalo – Erie County Executive Chris Collins, while admitting any decisions were out of local hands, remained optimistic that HSBC Holdings would not deliver devastating news to Buffalo on a full day of examination and restructuring of its global holdings.

HSBC, based in Great Britain, was spending Wednesday exploring options to cut up to $3.5 billion in costs. According to the Wall Street Journal, options for HSBC's U.S. holdings may include selling its credit card operations and closing several bank branches.

In the Buffalo area, HSBC employs an estimated 4,000 downtown and an additional 1,000 at its Mortgage Center in Depew.

Collins, when approached for comment at a downtown Buffalo event, remained optimistic for Buffalo's chances.

"We're certainly a key hub for them, so I'll continue to remain optimistic that that will be recognized," said Collins, who pointed to other economic setbacks from which Buffalo emerged.

"Buffalo certainly came out fine in the last go-around with GM, so until we know more all we can do is anticipate and be hopeful."

HSBC also operates dozens of branches throughout Western New York.