Greater Bay Area the next big battlefield for banks as revenues set to hit US$200 billion by 2025, HSBC executive says
- Banking sector revenues in the Greater Bay Area likely to reach US$200 billion by 2025, says HSBC’s Maggie Ng
- HSBC is well-positioned to service Greater Bay Area residents through its 130-plus outlets and 5,000 employees in Guangdong province
Hong Kong and HSBC can serve as a springboard for investors from GBA to allocate their assets in wealth management products, said Maggie Ng, head of wealth and personal banking in Hong Kong at HSBC.
New World Development is investing HK$20 billion (US$2.5 billion) to develop the 3.8 million square feet commercial complex at Skycity attached to Hong Kong International Airport. Expected to be completed in phases from 2022 to 2025, the project is strategically located close to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which has significantly enhanced connectivity with 10 other cities in the Greater Bay Area.
Some 20 banks have applied to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to launch more than 100 types of investment funds including balanced funds, money market funds, equity and bond funds, which use different strategies.
HSBC’s 130-plus outlets in Guangdong province, the most among international lenders, and 5,000 employees, give it an edge in tapping the bay area’s potential, Ng said.
She said there were 450,000 households in the GBA with investible assets of at least 6 million yuan, making them potential clients for the bank.
A survey conducted by HSBC last year showed that 80 per cent of residents in the GBA plan to invest in the wealth connect scheme.
However, the Wealth Management Connect scheme has faced hurdles from cross-border travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. GBA residents who want to participate in the wealth management scheme have to visit a bank branch to open an account. Bankers have expressed hope that regulators would relax rules and allow remote account opening to unleash the scheme’s potential.
“Once a green light is given for remote opening … then within five minutes people can open accounts ... [and] enjoy our wealth management products and investment services,” Ng said.
Last year, HSBC launched more than 200 features for its mobile app, and “we are well prepared in terms of hardware and software. We are only waiting for the reopening of the border”, she added.
The Skycity forum, which was held at the AsiaWorld-Expo on Thursday, was officiated by Fred Lam, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong, and Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development.