HSBC outlines $17 billion technology investment plans

HSBC chief executive John Flint says that following a period of restructuring the bank must get back into growth mode. 

HSBC could spend up to $17 billion over the next two years on investments in new technologies, according to the bank’s latest strategy update.

Chief executive, John Flint, laid out the plans as part of the company’s new strategy from now until 2020, with priorities including expanding the business in Asia and increasing network and digital capabilities.

The bank will invest between $15 billion and $17 billion in new technologies to improve operational efficiency to lower costs, improve overall client service and implement cyber security and regulatory programmes.

HSBC said it will accelerate growth in its Asian business in Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), primarily within insurance and asset management segments.

The bank has also targeted its US business, which has suffered from poor performance in recent years, by taking a greater share of multi-national clients in the region within the global banking and markets business.

Flint commented that the new business strategy reflects a shift towards growth, following a period of restructuring.

“The existing strategy is working and provides a strong platform for future profitable growth,” he said. “In the next phase of our strategy we will accelerate growth in areas of strength, in particular in Asia and from our international network.

“We will leverage our size and strength to embrace new technologies, investing $15-17 billion primarily in growth and technology, subject to achieving positive adjusted jaws each financial year.”

HSBC is looking to deliver a return on tangible equity greater than 11% by 2020, and hopes to sustain the dividend at current levels.