India To Be HSBC Hub For Research, Internal Audit

Mumbai, November 4 | Updated: Nov 5 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is exploring the possibility of carrying out some of its research, internal audit and training activities from India for its global operations. This is part of HSBCs broader vision to further explore the vast available potential of Indian intellectual capital, said HSBC chief executive officer world wide operations Aman Mehta, while interacting with the media at the inauguration of HSBCs 34th branch.

Mr Mehta added that HSBC has classified India as a strategic market for all its activities and will leverage the local talent pool. According to Mr Mehta, managerial talent available in India is comparable with the best in the world; that financial services have caught up with world standards.

HSBC has already shifted some of its business processes to India. Currently, its Indian operations account for a large part of its back office processes. It has already established call centres in India. HSBC also has an IT development centre at Pune with a strength of over 400 IT professionals.

The challenge now is to deploy more capital, said Mr Mehta. He informed that the growth rate of HSBCs India operations has been the highest compared to its other markets world over, adding: We have shown 20 per cent growth in every business.

HSBC, however, has been able to expand in India only by way of increasing its branch network as there are several restrictions on acquisitions, informed Mr Mehta. Currently, foreign capital cannot be more than 49 per cent in an Indian bank or control more than 10 per cent of the voting rights.

HSBC is, however, leveraging on its technical capability to grow in the retail market. Technology is our way out, said Mr Mehta. He indicated that HSBC is likely to be more aggressive on acquisitions when better legislations will be in place in the near future. We havent prepared any shopping list yet! he added.