Tony, some banks take the view that
e-commerce is not a new product area, but simply a channel of
communication that offers new ways to provide more efficient
services. Does that philosophy apply to HSBC?
e-Forex Interview : With Tony Cripps, Head e-Commerce, CIBM, HSBC
Tony CrippsHead e-Commerce, CIBM, HSBC
e-Commerce is simply another channel that allows increased
efficiencies for both our clients and HSBC. Whether clients are
accessing research and analytics or trading FX, they have a range
of choices about how to communicate.
As one of the worlds largest banks, HSBC
has a huge global footprint and very strong international brand.
How has that strength shaped your approach to developing and
delivering eFX solutions?
HSBCs business is not only global but also cross product. As such,
our development strategy has had to include a wide range of
services across a range of business units, from Global Markets to
Cash Management and Trade Services. As a result we have built
HSBCnet, a web site that offers all these services in one place.
Specific to eFX, we have leveraged our global presence by supplying
liquidity across all tradable currencies on a 24- hour basis. In
addition, in some specific cases where there are on-shore
restrictions, we have been able to link our eFX services to local
Youve recently been experiencing terrific
growth in e-volumes. Whats driving this?
A range of things. Customer demand is incredibly high, as clients
realise the maturity of the internet. Also, we have invested
resources in training to ensure technology is at the core of our
business. Finally, HSBCs strategy of offering a website that is one
point of access for all Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets
clients is reaping rewards as sales people cross-sell HSBCnet
services, specifically at this point Payments and Cash Management
and Global Markets. Your treasury and capital markets portal,
www.markets.hsbc.com, offers a wide range of functionality.
How much have you achieved towards your
aim of developing one venue for customers to access multi-product
pricing and services across the whole of HSBC?
The site has now changed to www.cibm.hsbc.com. This reflects the
fact that it is a cross-product offering, which encompasses all
services within HSBCs Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets
business. The range of functionality is essential as we must allow
individual users to personalise the site to reflect their
requirements: for example, this may be for a user to trade FX, view
cash management accounts, approve payments and view research.
What features of the site are proving
most popular and how important is your product integration approach
proving to be for clients?
Client-feedback is encouraging. Independent research has indicated
that 80% of HSBCs CIBM clients want a portal, rather than a number
of separate websites. It is hardly surprising that our Global
Research and Market Data services have so many hits, as they have
been available since 2000, and over 6,000 clients have access.
Perhaps more surprising is the success of our FX flow tool,
fxflow@hsbc. A high number of FX clients now log into this service
on a daily basis to monitor HSBCs global flows in any tradable
The online trading of FX Options is now
becoming an increasing focus of attention. How is HSBC using the
Internet to offer clients access to solutions for these types of
more complex products?
HSBC recently launched an online package of FX Derivatives
services. FX Derivative analytics is a charting tool that allows
clients to examine the relationship between spot, volatility,
correlation and other information. We also provide short- and
long-term trading ideas. In addition, HSBCnet houses an internal
tool called the Derivative Application Sales Tool. This is a
database of all FX options products and allows salespeople to input
a range of variables, which produce recommendations for their
clients. This is just another way e-commerce can add value to
clients, by allowing salespeople to market higher value products.
The benefits of e-trading such as error
and cost reduction combined with greater execution and processing
efficiencies have all helped to attract clients. Will these
significant advantages be enough to ensure that banks retain
I dont think we should become complacent. Clients are aware of
e-commerce offerings from other banks and we must continually look
to improve HSBCnet. Our clients are looking for a one-stop shop:
all have a cash management relationship with HSBC of some sort and
we must capitalise on that by offering all services through one
The loss of personal contact continues to
be a worry for some clients resistant to eFX. What impact will new
FX services have on those concerns?
Clients will still talk to people who add value. That is why we
have improved efficiencies on e-commerce trades and invested in
value-add services for more complex structures, such as the
Derivatives Application Sales Tool.
Do you think the pace of eFX innovation
and development is likely to slow over the next year or so and are
we likely to enter a period of consolidation?
Innovation in eFX will be maintained, but more focus will be placed
on the integration of services with client systems. HSBC will
continue to connect to multiple 3rd party platforms, acting as a
wholesale provider of liquidity. Consolidation of some 3rd party
platforms is likely, with banks showing interest where they can use
the 3rd Party technology.
Now that e-commerce has become firmly
established in the FX market and we are moving away from the
e-development stage, what are the main lessons you and your team
have learned with regard to anticipating future client needs and
helping them cope with the new electronic and online trading
Our consistent approach of putting e at the centre of our business
and delivering technology as it matures has meant that clients
receive benefits of an established service. By making the existing
salesforce responsible for selling e-services and investing in
internal marketing HSBC has made e-commerce a fundamental part of
our Global Markets business.
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