HSBC launches Russian project

HSBC is moving into retail banking in Russia, in a bid to take advantage of the country&rsquo;s burgeoning middle class, which the bank said was &ldquo;relatively undamaged&rdquo; by the recession.<br /><br />Europe&rsquo;s largest bank opened its first retail branch in Moscow yesterday and is planning three more in the Russian capital and another in St. Petersburg.<br /><br />Stuart Lawson, chief executive of HSBC Russia, said the country&rsquo;s middle class had not suffered from a great deal of exposure to stock markets and that there was &ldquo;plenty of space out there for us to grow into&rdquo;.