Strategy

HSBC's Private Bank To Add New Zurich Teams – Report

Editorial Staff, 16 February 2022

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The move to bring in new teams in the country comes as HSBC's private bank also shifts some support staff work out of Switzerland to less expensive nations.

HSBC, which is due to report full-year 2021 results next week, intends to add two teams in Zurich for its private banking arm in Switzerland, even while some support staff are being moved to lower-cost jurisdictions, Bloomberg has reported.

Switzerland is an important hub for HSBC’s wealth business and, while it plans to move more than 100 support staff out of the country, it will hire front-office roles in Zurich to manage assets from Asia-based clients as well as Germany, Alex Classen, chief executive officer of HSBC’s Swiss private bank, was quoted by the newswire as saying.

“We’re leveraging HSBC’s sizable presence in Asia to book more Asian assets in Switzerland,” Classen said. “We’ll continue to build out our offering for ultra-high net worth clients.”

Classen said he anticipates that Germany and Asia will be “growth stars,” although the Middle East would remain the dominant source of wealth assets, the interview said.

The private bank, which is shrinking the size of its Geneva office amid a pandemic-driven shift to flexible work, is moving more back-office operations to cheaper locations. 

“We’re modernising our IT infrastructure by moving some services to a Switzerland-based cloud,” Classen said. “Combined with the relocation of some global and regional roles in support functions, this will likely lead to some roles in Switzerland being impacted.”

Many of the roles are being moved to places like Poland and Mumbai, the report said, citing an unnamed source.

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