September 5, 2019 / 3:28 AM / a month ago

Brokerage Charles Schwab closing Singapore office two years after launch

FILE PHOTO - A man walks past a Charles Schwab investment branch in Chicago, Illinois, United States, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

(Reuters) - Discount brokerage company Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) will close its Singapore office by the end of this year, only about two years after opening it in late 2017.

“Charles Schwab Singapore will cease to provide services and will close its office in Singapore. We will no longer open new accounts for prospective clients,” it said in a statement on its website.

The Singapore office will no longer be licensed to hold accounts and all its client funds will either be transferred to a new broker-dealer or liquidated and returned to clients, a spokeswoman for the company said in an emailed statement, adding the company had decided to focus resources on where it can most effectively serve clients and do it efficiently.

Charles Schwab’s Singapore office employed about half a dozen staff, said one source familiar with the matter, who did not wish to be identified as the numbers have not been publicly announced.

The statement from the company did not specify if the decision to close the office would lead to job losses and the spokeswoman declined comment.

Charles Schwab opened its Singapore office in November 2017 to provide investors in Singapore and Asia with greater access to the U.S. market.

The office was launched after the integration of, and account migration from, optionsXpress, a derivatives trading platform that Charles Schwab acquired in 2011.

Charles Schwab will now focus on growing its business in Hong Kong, China, Latin America and Europe, including the United Kingdom, in addition to the U.S.-based international service teams, the spokeswoman said.

Charles Schwab, which provides brokerage and financial advisory services, reported an 8% year-on-year jump in second-quarter net income to $937 million. As of July, it had total client assets of $3.75 trillion.

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee and Kanishka Singh in BENGALURU and Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Mark Potter

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