HSBC, the Hong Kong-based full-service bank, will hire up to 1,000 new employees for its China operations, according to Reuters. The new jobs will focus on the bank's expansion efforts in the Pearl River Delta — a region near the South China Sea that includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan — which surrounds Hong Kong on the east and west. The area has quickly developed into an industrial powerhouse with several manufacturing zones that have become major exporters to western trading partners.
The growth of manufacturing operations has also meant industrialized job growth in the region and has helped contribute to an emergence of middle-class Cantonese speakers in the region, as well as migrant Mandarin Chinese speakers, who have contributed to rapid population growth in the largest cities in the region. That in turn has driven strong demand for banking services that has so far been dominated by regional and domestic banks.
Hong Kong-based HSBC hopes that its proximity to the region can help it gain a greater share of the banking business up for grabs. "HSBC has made the southern Pearl River Delta region — home to 11 industrial cities that are set to fuse into one megalopolis — its focus in China, betting on its growth and its own Hong Kong heritage," writes Reuters on the move.
Kevin Martin, HSBC's Asia Pacific head of retail banking and wealth management, told Reuters that the bank's push in the region is working well and is not suffering setbacks. "As of this point, we are very pleased with the progress in the Pearl River Delta. We certainly aren't taking any backward steps," he said.
HSBC issued "over 100,000 credit cards" in mainland China since launching the service in December 2016. HSBC saw 51 percent growth of mortgage volume in the Pearl River Delta region last year and currently has 2,400 retail and wealth management bankers and support staff in the region.