British banking giant HSBC is targeting to boost its financial services, onboard more affluent clients into its wealth management business and increase its lending capabilities in the country as it sees huge opportunities for the Philippines in the coming years.

In a roundtable discussion with reporters, HSBC head of wealth and personal banking of South Asia Kai Zhang said 2024 would be a strong year for the bank.

This developed as HSBC aims to accelerate three key areas of its business by boosting the growth of affluent international customer base.

'We are building all these capabilities. Our aim is to really bring more customers onto our platform, and the key is really around the affluent and international segments, where we can serve the needs as customers grow in different stages of their life cycle,' she said.

HSBC is also planning to accelerate its wealth management capabilities by bringing in new product sets and tools in the market as well as streamlining sale processes.

The foreign bank is launching new lending products to help support their customers, as the Philippines is a service- and consumption-driven economy.

'We have a lot of opportunities in really meeting the financial needs for individuals and new families,' she said. 'Through credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, we actually serve the lending needs of our customers.'

She added that HSBC would continue to digitize across its operations in the region to be able to offer clients easily accessible financial services.

'There is just a lot of opportunity that's untapped and I think we're going to work with our global platform team and bring more capabilities into the Philippines,' she said. 'As a 150-year-old bank, (we should) play a very important role to meet the growing financial needs of the population here.'

Zhang pointed out that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region holds the world's fastest growing economies, with the Philippines as one of its growth leaders.

'The attractiveness of ASEAN and opportunities really stems from the economic growth, and also the size of the economy,' she said.

She also noted that the country's young demographics and interconnectivity with its neighboring countries makes the Philippines an attractive market to invest in.

'This region really is attracting a lot of investment both from Asia and also from around the world. And of course, from the people's side, we have India and the Philippines as two of the largest international diasporas in the world,' she said.

According to Zhang, the Philippines is one of the international affluent markets that HSBC caters to. It is also part of the eight economies in South and South Asia, out of 16 global affluent markets.

'These are the markets that we will prioritize investment and we see these markets grow into potentially future scale markets. So that actually tells us a lot about our commitment to Asia, to Southeast Asia and to the Philippines,' she said.

Meanwhile, HSBC Philippines president and CEO Sandeep Uppal said the bank would further strengthen its consumer banking business in the Philippines even as other foreign banks exit the country's retail banking space.

'Clearly, we see a huge opportunity on the retail fronts as you would have seen from some of the investments we made recently into our branches, into the network, and I'm sure there will be more developments over the year or so,' he said.

Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (