HSBC Holdings, Europe's biggest bank, said on Monday it has not participated in talks with big U.S. banks forming an US$80 billion fund to buy ailing mortgage securities and other assets, and added there are no plans for a similar fund in Europe.
At this point in time, it's not something that we discussed with the parties, Sandy Flockhart, HSBC's head of global commercial banking, said during a media briefing in Hong Kong, in response to a question on the fund.
There are certainly no plans for anything similar in Europe. So it's a U.S. subprime issue involving two or three of the large U.S. banks, and obviously our name is not mentioned at all in this, he said.
Major banks including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America are in negotiations to form the fund as part of a bid to prevent the credit crunch from further hurting the global economy, sources familiar with the situation have said.
Flockhart said it was too early to say what impact the fund might have.
London-based HSBC's charge for bad debt was US$6.35 billion in the first half of the year, up 63 percent from the US$3.89 billion hit it took a year earlier, as it suffered from loans to the hard-hit U.S. subprime mortgage sector.
In September, HSBC said it would close its U.S. subprime mortgage unit.