HONG KONG (Reuters) – In its first initiative, HSBC Holdings Plc is supporting the launch of a technology start-up which aims to connect small and medium-sized manufacturers with component suppliers in different parts of the world as part of its trade banking pressure.
Serai, based in Hong Kong, a wholly owned subsidiary of Europe's largest assets, began formal operations last week, and is part of HSBC's Chief Executive, John Flint, who is planning to invest $ 15- $ 17 billion. by 2020 to boost growth.
“The use of international markets as a small and medium sized company is still very serious. And the real point is pain (transactions), ”said Vivek Ramachandran, chief of Serai.
“So, if you got Facebook for your personal network, LinkedIn for your professional network, Serai is for your company,” said Ramachandran, who had previously worked in HSBC's commercial banking unit for more than three years.
Serai is the first investment made by HSBC in the start of non-banking technology, and it could help the headquarters lender in London, which makes most of its revenue in Asia, to access new clients for its banking services.
Global banks are accelerating technical investments for trade and transaction banking – the business of financing trade, managing cash and facilitating payments – among the growing competition and change in cross-border supply chains.
Details of HSBC investments were not disclosed in Serai.
Ramachandran said that the technology platform initially leveraged HSBC's trading banking client network worldwide, and would add to the later coverage to include manufacturers and suppliers who are not existing bank customers.
Sera would also make small loans to some of the small businesses based in Hong Kong to fund their purchases, and said third parties intend to launch full funding solutions.
“The idea is to create a platform where buyers and sellers come together,” said Ramachandran. “You can make links, and then you can find a range of solutions over time.”
Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Edited by Stephen Coates
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