Banking Mobile & Online

In the future, HSBC might not be a bank

Written by Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner assesses the latest HSBC advertising campaign, which focuses on financial life ‘in the future’.

Flying around all the time, you sometimes forget to absorb the ads around you. There’s one particular ad I’ve spotted for some time now, but only recently got around to investigating. It’s HSBC’s latest campaign. Moving on from the world’s local bank, they’re now heavily into the future. That’s my space (not myspace). In fact, it was a bit weird, as I presented at a conference this week and realized that I’ve been studying future financial trends for 20 years now, and to show you that I’m not that bad at it, here’s a video I made in 2000, predicting some future FinTech changes to our world:

Not bad, even if I say so myself (it did win an award back then for one of the better corporate videos made in Britain). Anyways, HSBC has been plastering underground stations and airports with its ‘in the future’ campaign for a while now. Here’s a flavour of what the campaign is saying:

In the future, even the smallest business will be multinational.

Whether you trade in dollars, euros or renminbi, global markets are opening up to everyone. At HSBC, we can connect your business to new opportunities on six continents in more than 90 currencies. There’s a new world emerging. Be part of it.

In the future, the food chain and the supply chain will merge.

In tomorrow’s global economy, every resource will be counted. HSBC is one of the world’s leading supply chain organizations. We help companies keep tabs on stock across six continents and five oceans. The future starts today.

In the future, South-South trade will be the norm, not a novelty.

Direct trade between fast-growing nations is reshaping the world economy. HSBC is one of the leading banks for trade settlement between China and Latin America. There’s a new world emerging. Be part of it.

In the future, investors will need to be explorers.

In the new economy, growth could come from unexpected places, so investors might need to look beyond their comfort zones. HSBC’s Emerging Markets Index can help you navigate the fastest growing markets. There’s a new world out there.

In the future, we will be planting cities.

Not many things grow as fast as 21st century cities. Bamboo does – one of the strongest and lightest building materials, it’s now springing up in developments in emerging and developed countries. HSBC supports innovative ideas that will build the cities of the future. There’s a new world emerging.

In the future, age will be no barrier to ambition.

In the new world, earning longer could mean learning longer. The Future of Retirement is HSBC’s in-depth study into global retirement trends. Make sure it’s on your reading list. There’s a new world emerging. Are you ready?

In the future, we will all fly organic.

To be more efficient, business has to be more imaginative. The most forward-thinking airlines are already powering their fleets with biofuels. Climate change is already exacerbating underlying resource stress in global energy, food and water systems. Read HSBC’s report ‘Scoring Climate Change Risk’ to find out which countries are most vulnerable.

In the future, it will take many imports to make an export.

Supply chains are increasingly complex and global. HSBC’s supply chain experts can help you construct opportunities piece by piece. There’s a new world emerging. Be part of it.

In the future, there will be no markets left waiting to emerge.

By 2050, 19 of the 30 largest economies will be in countries we now call ’emerging’. HSBC’s international network can help you discover new markets wherever they emerge next. There’s a new world out there.

Using all of this futures research, they’ve also made a few films. It’s inspired their advertising for a start. For example, here’s an advert based on the headline, ‘In the future, even the smallest business will be multinational’.

It’s a good commercial, but why is she trading with cash? The wee girl would have a PaybySquare app on her iPhone, surely? And this one is based on ‘In the future, there will be no markets left waiting to emerge’.

There’s a ton of these commercials, including some more informative videos, over on the HSBC In the Future website. It’s worth a look, at least for me, as the future is my space. And my prediction is that, in the future, HSBC may not be a bank. What would it be instead? An information provider. But I’ve talked about that so much before, you don’t want to hear anymore about it … do you?


This article was originally published on The Finanser: In the future … HSBC might not be a bank.

About the author

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets through the Finanser, and chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in 2004. He is an author of numerous books covering everything from European regulations in banking through to the credit crisis, to the future of banking.

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