The Sunday Leader

HSBC In $ 7 M. Refurbishment Drive

HSBC’s Jaffna Team

HSBC Sri Lanka celebrated its 120th year of operations in the country recently.
As a demonstration of the Bank’s commitment to Sri Lanka, it has just begun a full internal refurbishment of its historical Headquarters Building in Fort, at a cost of US$ seven million.
Initially set up in Colombo in 1892 as a bank to facilitate trade finance with China, the entity has evolved over the years to become a full service bank that encompasses commercial and personal banking solutions for a diverse client profile. Globally, HSBC serves over 89 million customers in 80 countries and territories.
Since its establishment in Sri Lanka, HSBC has surmounted many economic upheavals locally and globally and sustained its commitment to partnering the island’s growth.
HSBC has become one of the country’s most profitable international banks today, helping Sri Lankans fulfil their hopes whilst promoting entrepreneurship and stimulating economic activity.
Over the decades, HSBC has pioneered world-class banking in Sri Lanka as the first  bank to computerize operations and the first to set up ATM machines amongst many other firsts. The bank offers an attractive business mix, retail banking, trade and payment services and investment banking, all of which make a substantial contribution to bottom line growth.
HSBC has launched its key propositions-HSBC Premier and HSBC Advance, providing customers with a comprehensive solution and a superior banking experience covering its international network. HSBC credit cards continue to lead the market with over 45% share of all credit card spend in Sri Lanka.
The recently launched HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card targeting the high-end travel segment had an overwhelming response with HSBC now commanding over 85% of the Signature market share. HSBC Visa Signature will continue to provide best-in-class travel offers, specially targeting frequent travellers. HSBC Lifestyle loans continue to be popular among mercantile sector executives and with mobile sales teams offering door to door service, it has become a much sought after product for its convenience.
The Bank recently upgraded both its exclusive HSBC Premier Banking centres at Flower Road and Maitland Crescent to latest international standards so as to give its customers the same banking experience as in London or Singapore. Most branches too now have HSBC Premier dedicated areas and relationship managers located onsite to support Premier customers. This committed and personalized service culture has resulted in a loyal and discerning customer base. HSBC intends to add further value to its product and service propositions via new investment related products such as structured products and insurance options on a referral basis.
On corporate banking, in addition to its “bread and butter” trade and payments services business, HSBC has expanded into non-traditional areas, rising to a dominant position in providing custodial and trustee services to international investors in Sri Lanka’s capital and equity markets. It aims to continue to focus on its key markets both locally and globally, with emphasis on capturing international trade flows and connectivity using Trade Financing, Project and Export Finance and Debt Capital markets businesses. Trusted implicitly by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) for its dedication to partner national economic growth (with over $ 2 bn. of infrastructure finance raised over the past four years), HSBC has been the only bank to be featured on all past GoSL bond issuances and has recently been selected as the Joint Lead Manager (JLM) in the latest proposed sovereign bond issue. In addition the Bank was mandated as JLM in the successful Bank of Ceylon international bond that raised $ 500 m and was seven times over subscribed. The Bank hopes to leverage on this prominently accorded status to develop its reach in capital market activities further and bring more Sri Lankan debut bond issuers to international markets.
Moreover, HSBC is a strategic partner for leading businesses and sectors in Sri Lanka, operating as a major working capital financier to the garment, tourism, tea and rubber sectors, as well as most multinational companies in the country. As the electronic banking concept becomes popular, HSBC is poised to cater to this new customer generation since it possesses a sophisticated electronic platform and has been repeatedly selected as the island’s best internet bank. The Bank continues to innovate and recently launched HSBCnet Mobile, a new Android phone platform that enables corporate customers to check their balances and statements and authorize payment instructions and receive payment alerts using their smartphone.
HSBC also engages in a range of corporate sustainability initiatives that demonstrates its long term commitment to Sri Lanka. Education and environment being the key focus areas, the Bank also concentrates on supporting communities at large and preserving the Nation’s culture and heritage, with many programmes having been launched in support of these initiatives. Building youth’s ICT and English education skills through scholarships and courses; donating equipment to underprivileged schools; sponsoring arts and cultural events; water reservoirs’ restoration; park clean-up projects and National Museum refurbishment are but a few of its recent corporate sustainability efforts. The Bank has been able to provide best in class product propositions together with excellent customer service and grew its business over the decades by leveraging on its staff’s capability and dedication, representing Sri Lanka’s best and brightest, who have endured hardship and overcome various obstacles over the years to continue to provide such service to our customers. Proud of its 120-year-old legacy in Sri Lanka, HSBC reiterates its ongoing commitment to the nation by being the first foreign bank to set up a branch in Jaffna in 2010 and the opening of the HSBC Galle branch last year which has received an overwhelming response. HSBC will strengthen itself through greater products and services provision that will entrench the institution further into the nation’s fabric, whereby it will be positioned at the forefront of the Sri Lanka’s banking industry- into the next century of operations.

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