The trading industry suffered a hit on Thursday after leading discount brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corp announced via a statement in its web page that it will close its office in Singapore before the end of 2019.
The company informed the public that its Singapore office would stop providing services and close by the end of the year. Charles Schwab Singapore also stated that it would not open accounts for new customers, either.
According to the firm itself, the existing Charles Schwab clients are going to receive instructions and all the necessary information in the next few days about how this decision will impact their respective accounts and operations.
Investments in Several Assets
The financial services giant wanted people in Singapore to have access to the American market when it decided to open its office in the Asian nation. The firm offered local clients the chance to invest in several assets, including US stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and futures, and more.
Today’s news comes roughly two years after the moment it opened its office in Singapore, back in 2017. The company also told news agency Reuters, through a spokeswoman, that the office in Singapore will no longer be licensed to hold any accounts.
The spokeswoman made it clear that the customers’ funds will have a safe destination: they will either be transferred to a new broker-dealer of liquidated and returned to the people that hold them. It wasn’t specified in the statement nor in the Reuters report whether the events will result in people losing their jobs.
Another Charles Schwab spokesperson told finews.asia that the firm’s long term international strategy is to focus on locations in which the company can serve retail investors at scale while doing it in a more efficient way.
Focusing on Specific Locations
And, as a result of that philosophy, Charles Schwab will now be concentrating in attending several crucial markets, growing its business in Hong Kong/China, Latin America, and Europe, most specifically the United Kingdom.
To achieve that goal, Charles Schwab will leverage its office in Hong Kong, its Latin American service center based in Coral Gables, Florida; its office in London, and the US-based international service teams.
Charles Schwab’s office in Singapore was born after the company completed the integration and account migration from optionsXpress, having acquired the derivatives trading network in 2011.
The firm reported a net income of $937 million in 2019’s Q2, an increase of 8 percent when compared to the same period in 2018. Clients held $3.75 trillion in total assets as of July.