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May 22, 2019updated 14 Jul 2022 6:40am

HSBC Ramps Up Data Science Efforts with New London Lab

Internships and graduate programme to help build out HSBC's multi-disciplinary teams

By CBR Staff Writer

HSBC has opened a new “data and innovation” lab in London, as it ramps up efforts to create new data-powered offerings for its Global Banking and Markets (GBM) division’s clients – and generate insight into client needs that could open up further commercial opportunities.

The London lab, which the bank says is already up and running, will ultimately employ just under 100 people. HSBC has also launched a second lab with a team of 50 in Toronto, Canada.

These mixed-discipline teams (to include data scientists and technologists, as well as business intelligence staff) will collaborate with HSBC’s GBM businesses to create, among other initiatives, AI tools to analyse clients’ data – to be carried out under “tight internal oversight and controls” – with the aim of identifying potential future product and service requirements.

HSBC Data Labs: Launches Come as Bank Continues to Ramp Up Investment in Technology to Boost Competitiveness

The hubs (London opened earlier this year, Toronto earlier this month, HSBC said today) are the brainchild of Chuck Teixeira, Chief Administrative Officer and Head of Transformation, HSBC Global Banking and Markets.

He spoke to Computer Business Review in December about the bank’s efforts to bring together vastly heterogeneous datasets from around the world and develop a Client Intelligence Utility (CIU) built on approximately 10 petabytes of corporate and institutional client data from 1.6 million clients.

Read this: HSBC Building Artificial Intelligence Utility: Has 10PB Data, Needs AI Help

The openings are designed to coincide with the launch of the bank’s internship and graduate programmes, in which students and young professionals are introduced to careers in data science and engineering within the bank while exploring business themes ranging from macro-economic payment trends to financial crime insight.

“Creating a high-performing and innovative culture starts with the right people and the right environment. The labs give us the environment, and our internship and graduate programme will give us the people”, Teixeira said today.

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HSBC processes millions of transactions daily, sourced from 200 different data systems, 66 jurisdictions, 14 major product lines, and 75,000 data fields. It is considering opening similar hubs in Hong Kong and India, as part of a wider strategy to build partnerships and co-development opportunities with AI specialists.

The lab openings come as HSBC bucked macroeconomic and industry headwinds to report profit after tax of $4.9 billion in Q1 2019; up 31 percent on Q1 2018. Improving its “digital capabilities” has been a priority: the bank spent $1 billion on digitalisation in the quarter; 15 percent more than the first quarter of the previous year.

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