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HSBC Riles Hong Kong Bankers With Plan to End Private Offices

  • Lender looks to keep lid on costs after Ping An urged cuts
  • Removal of offices could raise client confidentiality issues
The HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters, center, in Hong Kong.
The HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters, center, in Hong Kong.Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg

Senior investment bankers at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong could lose their private offices as the firm moves toward open-plan desks for the financial hub, causing angst among some executives who’ve complained about potential confidentiality risks.

The investment-banking division isn’t being singled out and the plan is in line with a broader move across the company, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Still, some bankers have warned that scrapping private offices may raise issues around privacy as senior executives often discuss sensitive information with clients.