HSBC to stop Islamic products in UK

HSBC Holdings is to scale back its global Islamic banking operations and stop offering products in the UK as part of a wider restructuring.

The bank, one of the pioneers in developing Islamic finance beyond the Middle East, will focus on customers in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia and keep a limited presence in Indonesia. Except for wholesale banking operations, HSBC will no longer offer Islamic products in the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Singapore and Mauritius, it said.

HSBC is cutting thousands of jobs and exiting non-core businesses as part of its plans to cut costs and improve profitability.

Islamic banking, based on principles such as bans on interest and pure monetary speculation, is expected to grow by 33 per cent to $1.1trn (£680bn) between 2010 and the end of 2012, according to Ernst & Young.