HSBC announced Wednesday that it is to sell its United States credit card and retail services business to US lender Capital One Financial Corp in a deal that is expected to be finalised next year.
"HSBC is pleased to be working with Capital One on this transaction, given its strong commitment to maintaining relationships with HSBC's customers," the banking giant's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver said in a statement.
He said the deal will allow "capital to be redeployed over time" and reduce the British-based lender's risk-weighted assets by up to $40 billion. The transaction is subject to governmental and regulatory approvals.
HSBC has unveiled massive cost-cutting measures in recent months, including plans to save up to $3.5 billion by 2013 and to axe 30,000 jobs across the globe over the next two years as it shift focus to fast-growing markets.
But the bank has also said it will hire up to 15,000 people in emerging markets by 2014 as it looks to Asia's booming financial sector to power future growth.
HSBC -- which unlike many of its rivals survived the 2008 crisis without state aid -- said earlier this month it would sell 195 retail branches, primarily in upstate New York, to First Niagara Bank for an estimated $1 billion.
HSBC was founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, although it remains headquartered in London.