According to Sky News, HSBC has appointed investment bank Lazard to advise on a potential acquisition as part of a deal which could cost the former many millions of pounds.
Insurance group Old Mutual currently owns a controlling stake in the financial institution
The news provider reported that Nedbank, the fourth largest bank in South Africa, has been the subject of takeover speculation for some months although discussions between potential buyers and Old Mutual are not currently underway.
Standard Chartered is also thought to be assessing the value of a potential bid for the South African financial services provider.
Tony Silverman, an analyst at S&P Equity Research in London, told Reuters: âI think that selling Nedbank will be part of resolving (Old Mutual's) capital issues.
âIt would be better if the buyer is not South African from Old Mutual's point of view, because the proceeds are more likely to be able to remain outside South Africa.â
Both Old Mutual and HSBC have yet to comment on the reports.
By Jim Ottewill