HSBC pulls back from U.S. consumer lending

In another hit to consumer lending, HSBC (HBC) announced it will shut down HSBC Finance Corp and Beneficial, two consumer lending arms in the United States. Consumers with less-than-stellar credit will lose one of their key sources for getting credit cards, refinancing mortgages and doing debt consolidation.

HSBC Finance catered to middle class customers with less-than-stellar credit. It provided lending for home mortgages, automobile loans and personal loans with a large subprime lending mortgage business. At the height of its operations HSBC had 1,000 offices in 45 states. It also issued Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards, as well as private label cards for third parties, such as General Motors and the AFL-CIO. Beneficial primarily provided mortgage refinance and debt consolidation services.