HSBC sticking to hiring plan for Asia wealth business

HSBC is on track to add more than 600 employees by the end of 2022 for the business in the Asia-Pacific.
HSBC is on track to add more than 600 employees by the end of 2022 for the business in the Asia-Pacific.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG • HSBC Holdings is sticking to its hiring plan for its wealth business in Asia following the surprise exit of two senior executives who had pushed for the strategy.

The London-based bank is on track to add more than 600 employees by the end of 2022 for the business in the Asia-Pacific, said Mr Kevin Martin, regional head of retail banking and wealth management.

More than 300 are likely to be hired through this year within his division, he said. The division includes the bank's Jade service, which targets customers with account balances of more than US$1 million (S$1.38 million).

The bank opened an outlet in Shanghai last month for its new Jade wealth programme. It plans to open one in Beijing, and a few more in Hong Kong next year, said Mr Martin.

The focus of the hiring will be in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, he said. "We continue to double down on Asia, pivot to Asia, grow Asia wealth. That's exactly what we're doing. Nothing's changed," he said in an interview in Hong Kong.

HSBC has been through turbulent times since announcing a year ago that it would add more than 1,300 positions in retail and private banking in Asia by 2022.

Aside from the departures of chief executive John Flint and Greater China head Helen Wong last month, HSBC is manoeuvring in choppy waters, with protests slowing Hong Kong's economy and trade tensions between the United States and China remaining heated.

The bank, Europe's biggest, last month said it was cutting more than 4,000 posts, with a focus on senior executives. It employed about 238,000 people as of June, its interim report shows.

  • 600 Number of people HSBC is on track to hire by end-2022 for its Asia-Pacific wealth business, according to regional head of retail banking and wealth management Kevin Martin.

Driven by Asia's economic growth, revenue of the wealth business in the region, including insurance and asset management, rose 7 per cent to US$3.1 billion in the first half from a year earlier, according to an investor presentation. The group relies on Asia for almost 80 per cent of its pre-tax profit.

"It's a very positive story for us," Mr Martin said. "We continue to employ the people, the customer growth is strong. All of the undertakings we made, we are delivering on."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2019, with the headline 'HSBC sticking to hiring plan for Asia wealth business'. Print Edition | Subscribe