HSBC plans expansion In India, to outsource more

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 22 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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HSBC Group Plc group chief executive officer Stephen Green believes that on a medium-term perspective, the bank will expand significantly in India.

MUMBAI: But try to pin Green down on specifics, and the mild-mannered, Oxford graduate will just tell you that while reforms on the acquisition and subsidiarisation route have been relatively eased in the country, the bank would rather look at growing organically.

“The four high-growth countries we are looking at include Brazil, Mexico, China and India,” said Green in his first local media interface, while adding that the growth forecast for India was very good.

He also admitted that the bank’s share of the market was quite small and, therefore, believes that it can grow tremendously.

On the outsourcing front, HSBC plans to push around 8,000 jobs to India, Malaysia and China. The current number for India stands at 3,700 — two offices in Hyderabad and Pune. Green neatly sidestepped a specific question on the effect of a House of Commons’ probe into the export of back-office work by HSBC, British Telecom and Aviva. All that he would say was that “we continue to have large commitments in the United Kingdom”.

Green, whose banking experience in HSBC goes back all the way to 1982 (and there’s no doubting that his CV is probably as large as a school text book!), replaced Kieth Whitson from June 1, 2003.

When asked about Hong Kong, Green did not deny that its economy was growing at a slower pace, but remarked that it unquestionably had a strategic position. “Due to its strategic location and proximity to China, it often feels like Hongkong is one economy with two systems,” Green pointed out.

Green reiterated that HSBC was looking at China and India extensively for growth: “The business that would provide us with a strong growth opportunity would be consumer finance, while the recent acquisition of Household International would also provide a boost.”

Households is a US specialist that aims at retail borrowers who would be turned down for regular banking finance. It’s methods of credit scoring to select customers could well be applied in India. He also believes that all businesses that HSBC undertakes currently, should grow and stated that all were profitable businesses, giving steady returns and HSBC was contemplating investing further into them.

HSBC India chief executive officer Niall Booker stressed this further, by adding: “Our treasury business would continue to be a big business for us. Moreover, we are also looking at focussing strongly on smaller corporates.”

(Courtesy: Financial Express)

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