HSBC Wants To Become Less Toxic, ICAP Boss Defends Industry

HSBC Canary Wharf

HSBC is preparing its first sale of sub-prime loans since the height of the financial crash, as Britain's largest bank begins to off-load more than $40bn of toxic US debt it still holds on its books.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the bank is planning to sell four sub-prime loan portfolios worth a total of $2.7bn in the next year, with hedge funds already expressing an interest. The disposals will mark the first time HSBC has sold any of its holding of sub-prime debt since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and is intended to kick off the sale of the $44.2bn of toxic debt still held by the firm.

The newspaper also reports that one of the Prime Minister's closest business allies has demanded an end to the 'dangerous' anti-City rhetoric rife in the country and said that the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is not respected by the financial sector and 'clambered on bandwagons'.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Michael Spencer, the chief executive of inter-dealer broker ICAP and former Conservative Party treasurer, launched a passionate defence of the financial services sector and said the constant attacks on it were damaging economic growth.

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