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HSBC conference rooms: It’s good to talk, virtually

Of benefit to both the environment and HSBC’s bottom line is the opening of a new internal network of conference rooms by the UK bank, which CIO Ken Harvey says will give "the experience and benefit of actually being in the room with colleagues on the other side of the world, without having to pack a suitcase".

The new rooms – in London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Mexico City, New York and Dubai – include a specially designed table for up to six participants and incorporate cameras and displays, lighting, speakers, microphones and projection capability giving life-size, high-definition images.

HSBC will save up to $50,000 in travel costs for a meeting that would normally involve three people flying from Hong Kong to Chicago, not to mention the lowering of its carbon footprint from taking fewer flights. But Euromoney can’t help but wonder at the potential for misuse. Messrs Green and Geoghegan will be well advised to monitor closely any increase in the number of internal meetings in the conference rooms with large, high definition television screens during major sporting events, although the timing of the announcement (just after the Olympic games had finished) would suggest they’re already on top of it.

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