HSBC commits to increased tech investment

The bank believes tech investment is key to creating better banking products and adding customers in emerging markets
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

HSBC will continue to increase investment in technology, despite its profits being hit by a $17.2bn (£8.7bn) writedown on bad debts from its US business.

The writedown cast a shadow over the bank's 10 percent increase in pre-tax profit for the last year to $24.2bn.

But HSBC says technology is key to creating better banking products and also adding new customers in emerging markets.

HSBC chairman Stephen Green said in the company's report: "We will shape our business operations so that we use our scale to deliver better, more efficient services to our customers. Their use of technology increasingly dictates how they interact with us. We increasingly employ technology to create better products which we can deliver globally at lower cost."

Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive for HSBC, said technology is key to the bank's aim to be the world's leading international business bank.

He said: "This is supported by our continued investment in both technology and people."

He also said the increased profits are a reflection of HSBC's "joining up the company" strategy of using common products and common systems. This includes the "One HSBC" project to deliver a standard suite of group systems.

HSBC has also proposed Oracle president and chief financial officer Safra Catz and Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy join the bank as independent directors.

The bank has previously said it expects its annual IT budget to hit $5bn as it invests in core systems to help cut processing and transaction costs.

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