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HSBC rebuilds Brazilian ops with a focus on wholesale banking, taps key execs

HSBC Holdings PLC moves forward with rebuilding its operations in Brazil roughly two and a half years after selling its local unit to Banco Bradesco SA, Valor Econômico reported.

"Brazil is a point of connectivity of global importance to promote businesses. We want to set up a complete wholesale bank," Alexandre Guião, president of HSBC Brazil, was quoted as saying.

According to the executive, services will be mainly targeted at a client spectrum of roughly 550 multinational companies and between 50 and 100 large Brazilian enterprises.

The bank plans to triple both revenue and headcount in five years time, with most of the staff to be hired by the end of 2020.

Guião also revealed executives from other banks have already been tapped for managerial roles in the rising unit, including key areas such as commercial banking, global banking, foreign trade financing, investment banking, and Treasury. The bank has appointed Rogério Guimarães head of commercial banking in the country and Fábio Caputo head of the treasury, among other appointments.

HSBC Brazil reportedly holds no plans to reassemble its retail operation, an area in which it had reached roughly five million customers before moving out.

The London-based banking giant had sold its Brazilian subsidiary to local lender Bradesco back in 2015. The deal was completed in 2016.

As part of the agreement, HSBC remained active to only offer offshore operations for Brazilian customers, with a reported headcount of 80 and income of 78.1 million reais in the first 9 months of 2018.

Since the bank reportedly held a share of the money earned from the sale to Bradesco, HSBC in Brazil would start with 1.1 billion Brazilian reais in capital.

As of March 18, US$1 was equivalent to 3.81 Brazilian reais.