HSBC Holdings, Plc, the largest european bank, said Thursday that it was stopping all sales and trades of mortgage-backed securities as a result of closing its U.S. mortgage desk, according to reports.

The bank will cut 120 jobs in its investment bank unit, a spokesman told Reuters. The U.S. mortgage desk managed transactions of mortgage securities issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. buyer and guarantor of mortgage loans.

Among the firings will be trading chief Richard Lightburn and prominent trader Russell Middleton, Reuters said, citing Wall Street sources at investment banks in New York.

The bank also said it ended coverage of health care in the U.S.

HSBC closed a mortgage office in Indiana in August and said in September that it would shut down its Decision-One subprime mortgage unit.