Problems and reputational risk haunt HSBC as questions remain

Many questions are unanswered at HSBC. Is there another round of job cuts at HFC and Beneficial? Will HSBC sell HSBC Auto? Are credit card losses increasing? How much is the fourth quarter write-down? How many subprime loans violated HOEPA? What are the legal ramifications? But the main question is being asked by investors and investigators, and that question is simply “How much more of HSBC Finance – formerly Household International – can HSBC Plc actually take?”

In the U.K. there is little sympathy from former Marbles customers. When HSBC sold Marbles to a company known for high interest rates most customers reported a huge jump in their monthly bills, at a time when they were already stretched. Current and former employees are beginning to tell their stories. Blacks, women, single parents, the military, retirees, and others think they were targeted for subprime loans.

As HSBC targets developing nations the bank also warms up to countries that have money. Those countries also Google, and the people are intelligent. They should issue a warning – If you attempt to do to us as you did to the U.S. and U.K. we will react accordingly to protect our economy.