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Opinion
Paul J. Davies

HSBC Split Is a Surefire Way to Destroy Value

A proposal by Ping An, the bank’s biggest shareholder, to spin off the Asia business would hurt revenue and profits.

The illuminated HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters, center, at night in Hong Kong, China.

The illuminated HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters, center, at night in Hong Kong, China.

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

East-West relations are a growing problem for HSBC Holdings Plc, the bank with feet planted equally in each hemisphere. 

U.S.-China tensions have steadily ramped up in recent years. But while geopolitical discord threatens HSBC’s business, splitting the bank into a version of HSBC East and HSBC West — as its largest shareholder, Shenzhen-based Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., has proposed — is no solution. It would only add costs or destroy revenue.