National Australia Bank Ltd. is planning to close its Hong Kong office and consolidate operations into mainland China, Singapore and Japan.
(Bloomberg) — National Australia Bank Ltd. is planning to close its Hong Kong office and consolidate operations into mainland China, Singapore and Japan.
The closure of the office will take place over the next 18 months, Krista Baetens, a Singapore-based NAB executive, said in a statement Thursday. The Australian Financial Review earlier reported the decision, saying the office houses about 50 staff in Wan Chai, with a full shutdown scheduled for early 2025.
The move marks the latest blow for Hong Kong’s ambitions to keep growing as a primary Asian financial hub alongside places such as Singapore and Tokyo. Westpac Banking Corp. also recently shut its Hong Kong branch, the report said, while competitors ANZ Group Holdings Ltd. and Commonwealth Bank of Australia have kept a presence in the city.
“The difficult decision to close our Hong Kong office has not been taken lightly,” Baetens said. “The decision was made following a thorough assessment of our strategy and reflects our ambition to align our Corporate & Institutional business with the greatest opportunities for NAB and our clients.”
The NAB staff mainly work in support services, including Treasury, risk and legal, according to the AFR report.
A spokesperson for NAB declined to comment further.
The bank’s customers and investors in Greater China will be served from Shanghai and other branches in Asia, the UK, Europe, the US and from its head office in Australia, it said in the statement. “NAB remains committed to Asia and our branches in Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai are our key customer outreach hubs in the region,” it said.
(Updates with NAB statement from first paragraph)
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