HSBC has concluded that it has failed 20 years after setting up shop in France. (Photo: Shutterstock)

HSBC has concluded that it has failed 20 years after setting up shop in France. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Two major international banks, HSBC and ING, want to exit retail banking in France. They both arrived in 2000, but did not manage to establish themselves.

The French territory does not suit foreign banks too well. Two of them, which arrived in 2000, are preparing to leave because they have not been able to succeed.

For HSBC France, the question is settled. After months of rumours, the British bank has confirmed the takeover of the French network by My Money Group, owned by the American fund Cerberus.

To enter the French network, HSBC had paid €11 billion to take over the retail and investment banking activities of the former Crédit Commercial de France. Today, it still has to pay €1.6 billion to separate itself from the retail banking business, which lost €1.1 billion in 2020 alone.

For My Money Group, this is a particularly large take. HSBC France's retail network has 244 branches, 3,900 employees and 800,000 customers. €24 billion in assets, the new entity will manage €31 billion in assets and will have a net banking income of €22.8 billion in deposits.

In principle, however, the operation should only be formalised in the first half of 2023. But My Money Group has already announced its intention to revive the Crédit Commercial de France brand.

ING takes stock

Another planned withdrawal is that of the Dutch bank ING. It announced on 17 June that it had launched a strategic review of its retail banking activities (ING Direct) in France. No decision has been taken yet, but at ING, they seem ready to withdraw from a market that remains very complicated and highly restricted by national giants, which are also international giants.

According to Agefi France, ING claims to have one million customers on the French market, but its activities are not profitable there.