HSBC goes hipster in London fintech hub hunt
Overly manicured beard. Check. Clothes that betray blatant narcissism. Check. Holier than thou attitude. Check. Welcome to the world of hipsters as HSBC is looking for office space in trendy tech-focused London neighbourhoods.
According to Bloomberg, the bank is seeking to “bolster its fintech capabilities” and has hired real estate broker CBRE Group to find 50,000 square feet (4,600 square metres) of space in areas including Old Street and Shoreditch. Both home to the hipster, and more importantly, start-ups.
If the deal goes ahead, HSBC will join Barclays fintech accelerator in Whitechapel (East London).
Back in February, HSBC decided to keep its headquarters in London rather than move to Hong Kong. It is “expanding out of its 45-floor skyscraper in Canary Wharf”; and plans to move 1,000 retail bank workers to Birmingham, Britain’s second-biggest city, to “cut costs and separate its UK consumer operations from the investment bank”.
An HSBC spokeswoman declined to comment on its expansion plans.
Three to see
Elsewhere, HSBC has been busy.
Its business customers can now open accounts using “selfie” verification, giving them the option to complete ID security checks on their mobile device.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) teamed up to develop a blockchain prototype for trade finance innovation.
Xenomorph, a provider of data management technology to banks, investment managers and insurance companies, received new funding from HSBC.