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April 1, 2022

HSBC insurance CEO plans significant expansion in China

HSBC Holdings insurance arm global CEO Greg Hingston is reportedly eyeing expansion in China, with Hong Kong deemed “massively important” for the bank.

Hingston intends to defend and grow in Hong Kong, reported Bloomberg.  

“The China opportunity is crucial, we expect our China business to be a much more significant contributor over the next five years,” he was quoted as saying.

China has been a key market for HSBC and recently it secured the clearance to assume complete ownership of its Chinese life insurance venture.  

Recently, HSBC recruited around 700 financial planners through its Chinese fintech venture, Pinnacle.

Hirings have been made across Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen as well as Guangzhou, with plans to expand the headcount to 3,000 in the coming few years.

At present, it distributes insurance offerings with plans on to apply for a licence to sell wealth offerings including mutual funds “in due course,” stated Hingston. 

Last year, the bank’s CFO Ewen Stevenson noted that the bank is weighing “bolt-on” takeovers worth nearly $500m each. 
Meanwhile, speaking during a Zoom call, HSBC Life and Insurance Partnerships head of strategy and business development Harpreet Bindra hinted at opportunities in Singapore, India and mainland China.

HSBC also informed shareholders of Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, its joint venture, of its plans to raise holding to 49% from 26%.

The bank, which typically distributes insurance through its branches to retail clients, is now entering health care and plans to cross-sell employee and health covers through its commercial bank network. 

Last month, HSBC completed the $529m deal to purchase the entire issued share capital of AXA Insurance Pte Limited (AXA Singapore).

The bank executed the transaction through its indirect wholly-owned unit HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings.

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