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HSBC to trim; no word on effects for Buffalo

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

By Bert Gambini & Michael Mroziak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-968187.mp3

Erie County Executive Chris Collins speaking to media on HSBC's plans, including possibilities for Western New York.

Buffalo, NY – The new CEO of HSBC Bank revealed a cost-cutting plan today that looks to trim expenses by $3.5 billion over a three-year period.

Stuart Gulliver's investor presentation began in London around 4 o'clock eastern time. He announced a strategic review of the bank's credit card business and a retreat from retail banking in some sectors.

Gulliver sees opportunity in the growing markets of Mexico and Turkey and could develop and concentrate new business there.

The overall effect on the bank's U.S. presence in general and Western New York in particular are not know.

Erie County Executive Chris Collins was among many awaiting news from HSBC's restructuring. Collins, while admitting any decisions were out of local hands, remained optimistic that HSBC Holdings would not deliver devastating news to Buffalo.

"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 employs 5,000 people locally, working in 70 Western New York branches including the company's namesake tower in downtown Buffalo.

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency issued the following statement on HSBC situation:

"We have had a continuing dialog with HSBC about their Erie County operations, and have made it very clear that we remain committed to working with HSBC to retain and help grow their operations here in the region." " As a result of the global restructuring announced today, ECIDA and our economic development partners will continue working with HSBC to understand the details of the restructuring plan, and to position our region to take advantage of opportunities that may arise."