LONDON - HSBC Holdings PLC will shutter its fund administration business in the U.S. and shift it to Ireland in one of the global bank's latest moves to control costs and refocus its sprawling business, people familiar with the matter said this week.

The move could cause approximately 200 New York City-based employees to be laid off, although final decisions will be made over the next six to nine months, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

The business, a small unit of HSBC's Securities Services within the broader wholesale bank, provides support services such as accounting and industry monitoring to hedge funds and other fund clients.

It will continue to serve a portion of its clients out of Ireland, these people said. Other clients have been advised to look at alternative fund administrators, they said.

Ireland is a choice location for many companies due to its technology savvy work force, low corporate tax rate, and proximity to continental Europe.

HSBC has been overhauling its U.S. business, recently selling its network of retail bank branches in upstate New York. But the bank's senior management has said the U.S. remains a key market for the bank in the investment and corporate-banking areas.

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