HSBC bank sells US loans for $3.2 bln

Global banking giant HSBC announced Tuesday that it has agreed to offload a package of home loans for $3.2 billion (2.5 billion euros) in cash to US-based SpringCastle Acquisition, one day after the bank posted falling annual profits.

The Asia-focused lender said in a statement that its HSBC Finance Corporation subsidiary has entered into a deal to sell its personal unsecured loan and personal homeowner loan portfolios to SpringCastle Acquisition LLC, a division of Delaware-based Springleaf Finance, Inc. and Newcastle Investment Corp.

HSBC added that the transaction should be completed in the second quarter of this year.

The announcement came one day after the bank revealed that net profits sank 16.5 percent in 2012, due to US money-laundering fines, mis-selling scandals, rising taxation and a huge accounting charge.

Profit after tax fell to $14.03 billion last year, which compared with $16.8 billion in 2011. Pre-tax earnings meanwhile slid six percent to $20.65 billion and revenues dipped one percent to $82.55 billion.

HSBC's performance was hit by a $1.9-billion fine to settle US allegations of money laundering that were said to have helped Mexican drug cartels, terrorists and Iran.