The HSBC Group will be investing RM80mil in its sixth group service centre (GSC), HSBC Electronic Data Processing (M) Sdn Bhd, over three years, said chief operating officer Alan Jebson.
“Our investments are a continual process and the group is constantly making investments in infrastructure and technology. As a group we spend over US$3bil a year on technology alone,” he said at the formal opening of the GSC by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Cyberjaya yesterday.
According to Jebson, the GSC handles selected global processing work such as credit analysis and trade services for countries like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Britain, the United States, Canada and those in the Middle East.
“We needed another centre purely for capacity purposes,” he said, adding that the number of countries serviced by the new centre was more than any other operated by the group.
The new GSC is HSBC's first in South-East Asia and larger than its GSCs in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It currently employs 200 people and is projected to reach 550 by year-end.
HSBC Bank (M) Bhd chief executive officer Zarir J. Cama said Malaysia was selected as the site for the new centre for its excellent infrastructure, the availability of a well-qualified workforce and the tax incentives which the Multimedia Super Corridor status brought.
“The GSC is currently housed in temporary premises in Cyberjaya pending the completion of a 200,000 sq ft, purpose-built building nearby in January 2004,” he said, adding that the centre was a clear demonstration of the HSBC Group's commitment to Malaysia.
On the liberalisation of the banking sector in 2007, Cama said HSBC was very well positioned for this as it had a “very full business,” on both the consumer and corporate fronts.
He said the greater “threat” to HSBC was from local banks, which had become much bigger and better.
Cama said he was happy with the pace of liberalisation in Malaysia but commented there were certain aspects that could move faster, like allowing foreign banks to set up off-site automated teller machines.