HSBC is determined to continue recruiting for its Asia wealth business and aims to expand its Asia-Pacific headcount by over 600 before the end of 2022 even as key executives have made surprise exits.
Both chief executive John Flint and Greater China head Helen Wong, who pushed for the bank's wealth strategy in the region quit last month. According to Kevin Martin, regional head of retail banking and wealth management, some 300 staff are expected to be hired this year within his division.
The focus of the hiring will be in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, he said. "We continue to double down on Asia, pivot to Asia, grow Asia wealth. That's exactly what we're doing. Nothing's changed," he told Bloomberg in an interview in Hong Kong.
We continue to double down on Asia, pivot to Asia, grow Asia wealth"
The division includes the lender's Jade service that is aimed at customers with over $1m in their accounts. HSBC opened a branch in Shanghai for the new Jade wealth programme, and plans to open another office in Beijing and several others in Hong Kong. Martin said the bank will mainly be hiring in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, adding that they will continue to double down on Asia, pivot to Asia and grow Asia wealth.
The group relies on Asia for almost 80% of its pre-tax profit. "It's a very positive story for us," Martin said. "We continue to employ the people, the customer growth is strong. All of the undertakings we made, we are delivering on."
Despite the ambitious targets, a slower Hong Kong economy and heated trade tensions between the United States and China have rocked the lender. HSBC said last month it is cutting more than 4,000 posts, with a focus on senior executives. The group employed about 238,000 people as of June, according to its interim report.