HSBC’s rather mercurial relationship with these awards continues in that the bank persistently wins prizes for aspects of its e-offering, but is yet to really hit the bright lights with the overall platform Evolve. As that venture is the first single dealer platform to be built from the start in HTML5 the wait may be long, but it will probably be worth it – and as we note every year, HSBC’s build is probably the most complex in the industry’s history thanks to the structure of the broader bank.

That said, progress at the bank is continuing and after winning the Innovation Award last year, this year it is scoring in two business areas: one at which we took a good look, the other, for the second year in a row, we were told about by plenty of users but never got to see!

So to what we know for sure – HSBC has built a very solid and impressive FX prime services platform. It is important to reiterate that the bank has a specific client base in mind and does not stray from that, however that means that it can create a very focused product that fulfils all that these clients would need, and more. It is of note, while we are on the subject, that both of the awards presented to HSBC are for its Global Intermediary Services business which focuses on non-HSBC trading activity. Of course, given this is a client- focused feature, this should be the case.

HSBC’s FX prime services business feels like a scaled down version of the winner of our Prime Brokerage Award in that it is all about carefully managing the risk, albeit with a more targeted client base. This means investment in capacity, monitoring tools, throughput and database management, something the bank has committed to strongly. Of particular note is the options capabilities and this is important given the target clients of the business, a certain subset of large hedge funds that are such big users of options. The bank has enhanced its offering around the management of Pin risk especially.

The graphics on the platform are excellent with good visualisations of top level KPIs and drill down functionality to take the client on a journey anywhere they like in their business – throughout there is a focus on delivering clear and precise information to the client. There is no room for ambiguity in this business and HSBC is ensuring it is kept to a minimum or eliminated.

Real time margin calls, exception-based limit utilisations and a comprehensive reporting framework round out what is an excellent PB platform.

The second area of note is the persistent feedback we have received from users over the quality of HSBC’s algos. Clients can deploy multiple strategies including the Liquidity+ function that allows them to run two strategies simultaneously.

Probably the differentiator for HSBC in its algo offering, as it is with its prime services business, is the bank’s reach into so many local markets and the market access that can provide.

In the past perhaps, HSBC did certain things well and that was it. Now, however, the bank is steadily filling out its service proposition and with the prime and algo businesses it is offering a full service solution – one that allows the client more room to do what they want to do – trade.

Awards for e-FX Excellence

Prime Services
FX Algos

Colin Lambert

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