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HSBC taps CIBC’s Tomei to head retail banking, wealth-management unit

A woman walking past an HSBC bank on Spadina Ave. in Toronto.

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

HSBC Bank Canada has appointed a new head of retail banking and wealth management.

Larry Tomei is joining HSBC after a 22-year career at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, where he most recently headed President's Choice Financial.

HSBC's retail presence in Canada is much smaller than the Big Six, given the bank's emphasis on commercial banking in this country. Profit for its retail banking and wealth-management division in the second quarter, ended June 30, was just $16-million, or about 10 per cent of the total profit for the quarter.

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But Mr. Tomei's appointment fits with the same issues facing all banks, as they adjust to consumers who are increasingly turning to smartphones and computers to do their banking.

"Our major investment in digitization and branch updates for our retail banking and wealth management business is a sign of our commitment to serving Canadians and growing in this market," Sandra Stuart, president and chief executive officer of HSBC Bank Canada, said in a statement. "We are extremely pleased to have Larry joining our team to help lead these important changes."

Mr. Tomei's experience with President's Choice Financial will no doubt help. As a direct bank, it does not rely upon traditional branches – which may have looked like a quirky no-frills approach to banking several years ago, but is now increasingly looking like the future.

"In this very competitive environment, as customer expectations continue to rise, his depth of experience in Canadian retail and wealth management with an emphasis on service will be valuable in driving our efforts to make the business simpler, faster, and more efficient for our customers," Ms. Stuart said.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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