HSBC Holdings has switched on a dealer-board system three times bigger than its predecessor in its new 28,000-square-foot dealing room, six months after promising to meet US investment banks' challenge head-on. The GBP1 million (about HK$12.63 million) installation from British Telecom supports 200 dealer positions, up from 65 previously. Each dealer position has multichannel speaker sets, intercom and a console that can display and store up to 1,600 incoming lines, as well as a voice broadcast facility. The installation reflects HSBC's determination to meet the growing threat to its market share from big US investment banks, as did its decision to move Wardley Holdings' capital market operations to a new 28,000-sq-ft home at the bank's headquarters. Trading room requirements are becoming increasingly demanding and diversified as competition in treasury and capital markets intensifies, said Tim Cureton, Hongkong Bank's group telecommunications manager. 'This was an opportunity to ensure that our dealers had the best and most flexible tools available in terms of capacity, performance and future migration to new high-bandwidth technology,' he said. The bank said earlier this year that the floor would be converted into a treasury facility with initial capacity for 150 dealers, but capable of being expanded to 250 positions. Pooling the dealers should increase the flow of communication, according to convention of wisdom. Hongkong Bank's Paul Selway-Swift has said that one good fact passed around 150 dealers can be minted into at least that many good deals. Although Wardley took 26 per cent of Hong Kong-dollar fixed-rate bond issues in 1993 and was dominant in the floating-rate market because of its parent's $3 billion issue, it was elbowed aside in the Dragon market last year.