Finding success in Hong Kong and Greater China’s evolving financial services industry

Hong Kong remains one of the foremost centres for investment services in the world. There are nearly 200 banks with a presence in the city, originating from 36 countries and representing 71 of the world’s 100 largest financial organisations.

Although tougher regulations and growing competition mean the sector is going through a transformational period, there are certainly a number of reasons for optimism. The development of fintech innovations such as blockchain, robo-advice and customer-centric payment platforms present new opportunities for banks to find growth. Similarly, there is an influx of emerging banks from Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, many of which will see Hong Kong as a springboard to international expansion.

To understand how agencies can win work with major financial institutions in Hong Kong and Greater China as they react to these changes, Pearlfinders got in touch with five globally-recognised companies in Hong Kong, four of which appear in the top 15 full-service investment banks in the world.

BNP Paribas

We spoke to Director, Brand & Communications, who told us the bank is looking to develop more creative ways to boost sales, by encouraging existing clients to spend more and reaching out to younger, affluent individuals. There are opportunities for sponsorship, events and experiential agencies to help it get "face time" with both prospective and current HNW clients. It's also looking to use social and PR to create a "wow factor" among younger audiences.

Nomura

We spoke to Head of Corporate Communications, who said that the key objective for his team is to maintain its position as one of the leading financial services providers in the region. It focuses on promoting business performance and successes - “actions speak louder than words” - but faces the challenge that the financial services community is inundated with continuous marketing and messaging. How can Nomura ensure it stands out? 

Credit Suisse

We spoke to Comms Director, who told us it wants to push on digital, especially social media, to communicate new product updates, company developments and ultimately drive revenue. The brand has a digital team in-house, but she’s interested in what insight agencies might have to help with this goal. The bank also want to keep communicating the positives of the Asian economy and its investment potential to maintain a buzz in the market.

OCBC Wing Hang Bank

We spoke to Marketing Comms Manager, who told us the company has been adapting its marcoms strategy and is now focused on broadening its customer base by attracting a younger audience. There are a number of emerging and international banks growing into Hong Kong, and Wing Hang looks to differentiate from these by promoting its heritage in the region - it discussed its current customer base and the new audiences it's looking to attract. 

Citibank (China)

We spoke to Shanghai-based Head of Corporate Communications, who told us that Citi’s current focus in China is maintaining its corporate reputation in a challenging economic period. It is considering how agencies might be able to help with online communications, PR and social media to help develop a positive image and brand equity to ensure investors, corporate clients and consumers all remain confident.