HSBC to close sub-prime units

HSBC said it plans to close 100 high street branches of its sub-prime division Beneficial Finance yesterday, putting 450 jobs at risk. It blamed the slowdown in the economy for the move. The group said the remaining 25 branches will close to new business. It said the unit, which includes Beneficial Finance, known as HFC, had become unprofitable since the downturn took hold.<br />