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World The woman building HSBC's 3,000 roaming banker army

08:55  15 april  2021
08:55  15 april  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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image captionMs Sun is building HSBC ' s 3 , 000 roaming banker army . The bank is not just competing with traditional rivals like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan in this space. It also faces stiff competition from financial technology (fintech) giants Alibaba and Tencent which have their own financial services via popular apps like Alipay and Wechat. While Alibaba has faced a crackdown by Chinese regulators, it still has a market value more than five times bigger than HSBC ' s . But HSBC says recruiting thousands of bankers over the next five years should give it an edge over its pure fintech

HSBC Holdings has a new plan to find riches in China: it is hiring 3 , 000 bankers to search prosperous coastal cities for wealthy clients who need advice on insurance and investments. HSBC Holdings PLC has a new plan to find riches in China.

HSBC has started hiring hundreds of bankers to search for wealthy clients across China.

a person wearing a blue shirt: Ms Sun has already started targeting the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen © HSBC Ms Sun has already started targeting the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen

It is part of the bank's ambitious plan to employ 3,000 mobile bankers as part of a new venture.

The woman leading the rapidly-growing team is Trista Sun, who is helping a digital-banking push at HSBC that analysts say is long overdue.

Several big Western banks are also expanding into China including US firms Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

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The venture, known as HSBC Pinnacle, is part of chief executive Noel Quinn's plan to pivot the bank more towards Asia and to focus on wealth management. This week, media reports said HSBC was moving four top executives from London to Hong Kong as it accelerated its strategic shift, including its chief executives of wealth and personal banking, and global commercial banking.

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HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. It is the largest bank in Europe, with total assets of US.715 trillion (as of August 2020).

HSBC ' s new headquarters in Birmingham spans 10 floors and contains the bank 's first ever digital-only branch. More than 2, 000 employees can benefit from a gymnasium, dance studio and training centre dubbed the 'university'. The bank 's move to Birmingham is seen as a huge vote of confidence in the city, creating 700 new jobs.

Ms Sun told the BBC that her team had already started targeting the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen to seek out wealthy clients for its insurance and investments business.

Pinnacle's goal is to grab a greater share of China's growing middle class, a segment it expects to swell to 600 million people by 2028. HSBC has about $1.6tn (£1.2tn) in funds from its wealth business, half of which comes from Asia.

a woman in a blue shirt: Trista Sun is building HSBC's 3,000 roaming banker army © Hsbc Trista Sun is building HSBC's 3,000 roaming banker army

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Find out more about branch information including locations and opening time for all HSBC Singapore branches, Premier centers and safe box services. If you visit one of our branches you must wear a mask and log the entry and exit of your visit via the SafeEntry App for the safety of both our customers and our staff. We also urge you to use the HSBC Singapore Mobile app and HSBC Online Banking for your banking and investment needs or use email or phone channels where possible.

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While Alibaba has faced a crackdown by Chinese regulators, it still has a market value more than five times bigger than HSBC's.

But HSBC says recruiting thousands of bankers over the next five years should give it an edge over its pure fintech rivals.

"We are of the view that a digital and human hybrid financial planning model, co-created with customers and financial planners, is the way forward for affluent customers," Ms Sun told the BBC.

HSBC has also set up a fintech subsidiary in Shanghai, the first foreign financial institution to do so in mainland China.

text © Getty Images

Ms Sun previously worked at HSBC's headquarters in London and Hong Kong and said it gave her exposure to "very different regulatory environments, competitor landscape, customer pain points and technology adoption".

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HSBC , has been fined £10.5m by the Financial Services Authority for mis-selling products to elderly customers. In some cases, individuals were offered five-year investments which were longer than their life expectancy. Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime at the (FSA) told the BBC that this fine should act as a deterrent for other banks .

Bruce Pang, head of research at Hong Kong-based China Renaissance Securities, said HSBC's brand name gave it a strong advantage in China, where it had a long history.

"The bank is giving a big bet on new growth and continues to develop its franchise with a hiring spree in China as part of its wealth push," he said.

"But the big elephant may be too heavy to move forward despite its international strengths," he added. "Chinese banks could also be better equipped to tap into growing incomes in the mainland with more solid local franchise and nationalism-fuelled loyalty."

In 1984, HSBC became the first foreign institution to secure a banking licence in mainland China since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. It now has about 160 branches there, more than any other foreign bank.

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