LONDON/PARIS, June 18 (Reuters) - HSBC has
agreed to sell its French retail banking operations to My Money
Group, which is backed by private equity group Cerberus, ending
a long endeavour to dispose of the struggling business as the
British bank pivots towards Asia.
My Money announced the agreement in a statement on Friday.
HSBC has been trying to shrink its presence in some European
and North American markets where it has struggled against larger
domestic players, while Cerberus already owns stakes in Deutsche
Bank and Commerzbank.
"My Money Group, with the backing of funds managed by
Cerberus Capital Management, can support the growth of HSBC
Continental Europe's French retail network by applying our
market knowledge and expertise in digital transformation," said
its chief executive Eric Shehadeh.
The deal will see My Money acquire HSBC's 244 branches,
around 3900 staff and 24 billion euros in assets, creating at a
stroke what My Money described as a new challenger bank in
France's crowded retail banking landscape.
My Money said it will resurrect the Credit Commercial de
France (CCF) brand, the bank HSBC bought for some 11 billion
euros 21 years ago as it attempted to gain a foothold in one of
Europe's biggest banking markets.
Under French law, the two parties have to consult employees
on the deal, and if HSBC and My Money decide to proceed it could
be signed in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
My Money said it will invest 200 million euros in the HSBC
unit's technology infrastructure.
(Reporting by Lawrence White and Gwenaelle Barzic;
Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alexander Smith)