(Adds size of portfolio, background)
By Joshua Franklin
ZURICH, Sept 5 (Reuters) - HSBC has reached an agreement to refer some of its Latin American private banking clients, primarily in Central America and the Andean region, to Switzerland’s UBS, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
The agreement completes HSBC’s efforts to streamline its private banking business, a process which has resulted in a number of disposals in recent years.
“This decision reflects a refocusing of our strategy on those Latin American markets where we have existing scale in our portfolio and where we have identified growth opportunities for our private banking business, in particular Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico,” HSBC’s Peter Boyles, chief executive of global private banking, said in the memo, the contents of which were confirmed by a bank spokesman.
Boyles said the bank expects up to 40 employees will be offered roles at UBS to serve the clients, which will be referred to UBS’s Wealth Management Americas division.
A spokesman for UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, declined to comment.
HSBC banks these assets out of its office in Miami, a popular hub for Latin American clients to keep offshore wealth.
A source familiar with the business said HSBC’s Miami office had around $5 billion in assets under management from Central American and Andean clients at the end of 2015. (Editing by Michael Shields)