UK and Irish custodians have had to contend with a changing market and regulatory environment during the year. As a result, companies are using more complex risk mitigation strategies and products as regulators seek more disclosure and transparency.
HSBC has negotiated this environment with skill. It was reappointed as custodian for a corporate pension fund as well as winning a custody and administration mandate from a large asset management group and a mandate from a sovereign wealth fund. Clients chose HSBC for a variety of reasons – access to broader banking services, a quality global custody service and its strong capital base. The group’s strength in emerging markets has also been an important factor.
A significant innovation this year was the OneHSBC initiative. This aimed to bring processes, products and systems together to make it easier for customers to do business. It involved the introduction of a new corporate actions platform, a new web front end, a new prime services product offering and the roll out of an enhanced market intelligence service.
In addition to a number of enhancements to the HSBCnet internet portal, the year also saw the integration of Thomas Murray market data for Agentbanks, which completed the HSBC Securities Services sub-custody network. The internet transfer agency has meant a new version of its investor software and improved archiving and admin functions.
The group continued to implement the FXHub this year, which continued to reduce the degree of manual intervention between internal groups.
The group’s services now include an extensive custody and sub-custodian network; trade processing and settlement; asset servicing and cash management; and a flexible securities lending programme that provides either agency, principal, third-party agency or exclusive service arrangements.
HSBC has sought out groups with financial strength and a trusted brand at a time when counterparty risk is in the front of all asset managers’ minds. The judges lauded its strong performance and excellent reputation.
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