HSBC to increase Premier account holders

Published October 12, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Lee C. Chipongian

To increase its customer base, HSBC Philippines has lowered the maintaining balance of its HSBC Premier from P4 million to P3 million and included a salary-based criteria to attract the young entrepreneurs.

Close to 50 percent of HSBC’s retail banking depositor base are Premier account holders, and majority are considered affluent depositors.

“We’ve relaunched in July and we have seen increased numbers (of depositors). Demand is clearly there. We want to acquire more customers,” said the Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Peter Faulhaber.

In the last three months, he said the bank “has been able to meet the demand” and that they are prepared to hire more relationship managers for the Premier products as they attract more customers. Bulk of Premier accounts are owned by Filipinos.

Faulhaber said HSBC is taking stock of the growth of wealthy Filipinos in the last years and they could now offer a wider range of products such as investments and other financial instruments to build and preserve their clients’ savings. “The Philippines is in the run of unprecedented growth and the economy is doing great. There are more educated people going into the workforce and this is a tremendous place demographically.” He added that there are “more and more people who either have money, or there are more people (who aspires) to be in the affluent category.”

Faulhaber said they “refreshed” the Premier account to extend the privilege to a wider clientele such as young entrepreneurs and the upper middle income professionals earning at least P300,000 (gross) monthly salary. This is a major change from how HSBC Premier usually works which is to require a lump sum deposit of P4 million.

Faulhaber said that after reviewing the market, they find that P4 million Premier maintaining balance when compared with other countries in the region, is on the high side. “We decided to (lower it to) P3 million to be more aligned and consistent. The salary requirement is also one of the key (changes).”

“There are three things they (clients) want from us – they want safety and protection, they want to save and grow their wealth, and they come to us for international connectivity,” said Faulhaber. And, in changing the way they do Premier services, they could guide and grow with their clients as they accumulate savings and wealth.

To address the issue on safety and savings protection particularly for the education of the children of Premier clients, as well as the protection of their livelihood, HSBC expanded the Premier umbrella to include Premier Junior Pack for depositors as young as seven years old, to Premier Next Gen designed for 18 to 28 years old.

Faulhaber said Premier clients naturally want to ensure their wealth is adequately managed by their bank while also ensuring that their families are ensured and taken cared of. “More and more families want to send their children (to study) outside of the country (but) overseas education is expensive,” he said. This is where HSBC’s global footprint can help by assisting families with their international connectivity for when they send their children abroad for their schooling.

“Filipino families regard education as the most important investment thet can give ti secure their children’s future,” said Faulhaber. The number of Filipino students enrolled in foreign schools outside of the country has doubled from 2008 to 2018, according to HSBC.

HSBC can assist parents with children studying abroad to set up overseas accounts and to get a debit or credit card, and transfer money with ease.