HSBC may decide to sell its U.K. retail banking operations, depending on the impact of yet to be announced new banking regulations, published reports say.

The Times and the Financial Times reported Friday that the new British regulations, which are expected to include a rule requiring banks to ring-fence their retail operations to shield them from investment banking, could mean that the retail side would fall short of HSBC's profit targets.

If that happens, The Times quoted HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver as saying "we might have to think about, do we sell it?"

In the past year, HSBC has sold 28 non-strategic businesses that did not meet profit targets. The latest disposal was of operations in Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay.