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Welsh resigns from HSBC NY

As we reported on Tuesday, Ben Welsh has decided to leave HSBC NY, where he was head of FX, global metals and US rates. Ben, who joined HSBC in January 2003 from Goldman Sachs, told the Weekly FiX he has no immediate plans other than to take a break from the business.

“It’s a great bank with some great people. The team we built up in NY is fantastic, and I’m really going to miss those people,” he said. HSBC declined to comment on his departure nor on how the bank’s US trading operation would be reorganised.

Those who have worked with Welsh say that he had a healthy risk appetite. Whether or not this was a factor behind his decision is not known, but it seems inevitable that the bank will be examining its US operations following the debacle with its mortgage business. If it does reduce its risk appetite, it won’t be the first time the HSBC’s FX business – or, more accurately, its components – has been affected by bad judgement, as the Crocker debacle mentioned above shows.

Welsh’s departure has effectively removed a layer of the bank’s US management structure.