HSBC will withdraw from Georgia by early 2012 as part of its retreat from markets where it lacks scale, HSBC Bank Georgia said on September 6.
“In Georgia we have limited size and scale and, despite considerable efforts in the country, we feel now is the right time to withdraw from the market. We have informed the regulator and our employees, and will be informing our customers as we work towards securing a smooth exit,” Guy Lewis, chief executive of HSBC Bank Georgia, said in a statement.
HSBC launched operation in Georgia in June, 2008 with headquarters on the Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare Rustaveli Avenue, focusing mainly on corporate banking. The bank currently has staff of about 60 employees.
The decision to exit Georgia follows recent announcements of HSBC’s withdrawal from retail banking in Poland and Russia.
HSBC Bank Georgia said the withdrawal will be phased; it is ceasing to undertake new business with immediate effect, but will continue to provide full banking services to existing customers.
“A full withdrawal from Georgia is expected by early 2012. Until then, HSBC is committed to ensuring a smooth transition to a new banking provider for existing customers,” the bank said in the statement.