Bank of East Asia Closes Securities Unit in HK

Bank of East Asia

Bank of East Asia Ltd (BEA), Hong Kong’s largest listed family-run bank, is closing all branches of its securities unit as part of cost-cutting effort.

In a statement, BEA said it will close the 22 retail outlets of East Asia Securities, cutting about 180 jobs, following a review of the business.

The company said the job cuts account for 3.8% of the bank’s employees in Hong Kong.

Following the closure of its securities unit’s branches, BEA said it will streamline operations through various means, which could include automation.

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The bank added that its securities unit will continue to provide services through electronic and telephone trading facilities, which account for more than 90% of East Asia Securities Co’s transaction.

BEA said maintaining retail outlets for trading services has become very costly.

By shutting East Asia Securities Co’s branches and streamlining operation, BEA expects to reduce its cost-to- income ratio, which rose to 57% in 2015 from 54% a year earlier. –