HSBC has signed a multi-year, global deal with AWS, the two announced today, as financial services firms globally accelerate their use of the cloud in a bid to improve agility, drive down cost — and as trust in cloud compliance capabilities improves.
The bank has put increased digitalisation at the heart of a sweeping restructuring, designed — as CEO Noel Quinn put it in April — to create “a stronger and leaner business”. (HSBC, like most major banks, has faced significant market headwinds: profits fell 49 percent in the first three months of the year).
HSBC will use AWS services including “compute, containers, storage, database, analytics, machine learning, and security, to develop new digital products and support security and compliance standardsfor millions of personal banking customers worldwide” the two said in a joint release posted today.
(The bank has also been a prominent user of Google Cloud services, migrating a legacy data warehouse to BigQuery in 2019 that spanned 30 years worth of data, handled 6,500 extract, transform, load jobs and more than 2,500 reports).
Dinesh Keswani, Chief Technology Officer and CIO for Digital, HSBC said the collaboration will help the bank “deliver innovative banking solutions to customers at a faster rate, starting with our Wealth & Personal Banking business.”
Keswani oversees an IT estate of 90,000+ servers, handling services for 39 million+ customers through HSBC data centres in 21 countries.
In a video interview in 2019 the Digital CIO emphasised that the bank has committed to investing about $17 billion in technology over the “next three years”, saying he was attracted to solving “big, hairy, audacious problems”.
Much of HSBC’s data remains locked up in mainframes around the world, he noted at the time. (The bank hosts over 169 petabytes of data across 66 countries).
HSBC AWS Deal Comes Amid Sweeping Restructuring Plans
HSBC will make AWS technology available across the bank’s lines of business, starting with customer-facing applications and application modernisation in its Global Wealth & Personal Banking business, it said, adding that the move will let it “drive innovation, automate key processes, and enhance operational efficiency”.
Speaking about the bank’s aggressive restructuring, HSBC Noel Quinn told investors earlier this year: “We are going to take three actions.
“First, we are going to reshape the parts of the Group that are underperforming from a return perspective. Second, we are going to reduce the cost base of the group whilst not affecting our investment capacity – we will continue to invest for growth. Third, we are going to make the Group simpler to operate, reduce complexity so that we have greater pace, greater agility and a less bureaucratic environment.”