Chinese insurer Ping An has called on banking giant HSBC to split its Asian and western operations, challenging a dual focus strategy that has endured for more than a century.

According to a Financial Times report, Ping An argued that by splitting focus between China and “the west” weakened the banks prospects.

It argued that an independent Asia business listed in Hong Kong would have higher profitability, lower capital requirements and greater autonomy to make decisions.

Ping An is HSBC’s largest shareholder.