Cerberus-backed My Money to buy HSBC’s French retail bank

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LONDON/PARIS — HSBC has agreed to sell its French retail banking operations to My Money Group, which is backed by private equity group Cerberus, ending a long endeavor to dispose of the struggling business as the British bank pivots towards Asia.

My Money announced the agreement in a statement on Friday.

HSBC has been trying to shrink its presence in some European and North American markets where it has struggled against larger domestic players, while Cerberus already owns stakes in Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

“My Money Group, with the backing of funds managed by Cerberus Capital Management, can support the growth of HSBC Continental Europe’s French retail network by applying our market knowledge and expertise in digital transformation,” said its chief executive Eric Shehadeh.

The deal will see My Money acquire HSBC’s 244 branches, around 3900 staff and 24 billion euros in assets, creating at a stroke what My Money described as a new challenger bank in France’s crowded retail banking landscape.

My Money said it will resurrect the Credit Commercial de France (CCF) brand, the bank HSBC bought for some 11 billion euros 21 years ago as it attempted to gain a foothold in one of Europe’s biggest banking markets.

Under French law, the two parties have to consult employees on the deal, and if HSBC and My Money decide to proceed it could be signed in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

My Money said it will invest 200 million euros in the HSBC unit’s technology infrastructure. (Reporting by Lawrence White and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alexander Smith)