HSBC sees surge in online sales

HSBC sees surge in online sales

Online sales at HSBC increased by 55% in 2006 as more personal and business customers tuned into the benefits of banking on the Web.

The uplift in online sales was divulged by Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive at the bank's annual general meeting.

In total the bank's Websites handled 1.8 billion visits in 2006, he said.

"The power of the Internet, and the desire of customers to be serviced 24/7, is leading us to focus on improving our direct propositions," he told the meeting.

He says the bank will build on the sucess of its direct savings accounts in the US and UK, by rolling out the proposition in key markets around the world, beginning with Taiwan and Korea.

"In a very real sense, we intend to build the first global direct bank where branches will also remain an important form of distribution but complemented by other channels, in response to our customers’ changing tastes," says Geoghegan.

He pointed to the recent £1.1 billion sales and leaseback of the bank's head office building in London as an example of how technology is changing the way HSBC operates.

"Not only was this sensible management of our property portfolio, but it also gives us flexibility as technology changes the way people work," he says.

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