I was at a very interesting presentation today with HSBC’s IT and operations head Ken Harvey.
He was giving a presentation about the bank’s One HSBC project. This is a project to move all the bank’s different units regardless of region or business line onto common computer systems.
It was very interesting presentation and kept my full attention as a result. On the 42nd floor of HSBC’s headquarters in Canary Wharf, on a clear day, one could easily to be distracted by the view.
The project is now two years old and is already paying for itself according to Harvey. Some of the achievement so far include the reduction of the number of core banking systems from 55 to 17, credit card systems cut from 24 to 17, internet banking systems reduced to 13 from 41, desktops all on the same standard compared to 40 before and trading systems reduced from five to one.
By the end of 2010 all of these will be consolidated to one core banking, one credit card, one internet banking, one desktop standard and one trading system and all on the One HSBC platform. HSBC has also reduced the number of datacentres it operates globally from 130 to four pairs.
But as we always talk about savings I thought I would mention some of the advantages of One HSBC to customers.
If you are a corporate and you want to ensure that different units across the world have enough cash to pay their bills you can just tell the bank how much they all need and it will convert the currency and move it around for you.
Meanwhile if you are a retail customer and you lose your card the cancelation and replacement process is far easier for you and the member of staff dealing with you. This process traditionally requires 13 different actions but with the new system it is only five. It also offers customers an identical interface no matter how they are dealing with the bank. Whether they are in a branch or on the road using whichever mobile device you chose the interface is the same.