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HSBC sells U.S. consumer, homeowner loans for $3.2B

NEW YORK – HSBC, Europe's largest bank, is selling two portfolios containing U.S. consumer and homeowner loans for about $3.2 billion in cash as it looks to minimize its exposure in the country.

HSBC has been selling assets as part of its plan to improve profitability and shore up capital. Last year it completed the sale of its U.S. card business to Capital One for $2.6 billion.

The two portfolios are being sold to SpringCastle Acquisition LLC, which is owned by consumer finance company Springleaf Finance Inc. and real estate investment trust Newcastle Investment Corp.

The transaction includes more than 400,000 personal homeowner loans and personal unsecured loans originated mainly through HSBC Finance Corp., Newcastle said.

The sale of the portfolios is expected to close in the second quarter.

Springleaf will also buy HSBC's loan servicing facility in Kentucky. That sale is targeted to close in the fourth quarter after a period allowing for the conversion of loans being sold to SpringCastle. HSBC said that most of the building's workers will transfer and become Springleaf employees.

U.S.-listed shares of HSBC Holdings PLC added 12 cents to $54.07 in Tuesday midday trading, while Newcastle's stock rose 11 cents to $11.24.

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