Awards for Excellence 2017
|How Gulliver fixed the world's |
best bank HSBC for the future
Lloyds Banking Group
There are only three banks today that offer a full range of corporate and institutional services globally. And it is no coincidence that these are the three most-recent winners of Euromoney’s award for the world’s best bank: Citi in 2015, BNP Paribas in 2016 and this year’s winner, HSBC.
The need for global banks is not diminishing: international trade remains the lifeblood of global economic growth and banks are essential to that process. But the number of banks able or willing to offer a truly global platform to their clients has shrunk dramatically since the financial crisis.
That said, running a global bank has never been a more difficult proposition. The investment in maintaining that platform is substantial and it is hard to keep costs under control. Regulations make it much harder to produce decent returns on equity. Many investors prefer banks to have a much narrower focus in their business models – the Nordic banks are an often-quoted example. And of course in the era of compliance, fines and even prosecutions, the more moving parts a bank has, the harder it is to ensure the oversight is in place to prevent costly mistakes.
Euromoney can confidently say that no bank chief executive has spent more time considering how to make a global banking model work than HSBC’s Stuart Gulliver. It has filled many of his waking hours since he took on the top job at the bank in 2011, and in truth it did so for some time before that. But it has also fuelled his belief that HSBC has a unique global business that can deliver good returns to shareholders and help its clients meet their international ambitions.
Gulliver has not just thought about it – this award reflects the fact that he and his management team have successfully executed one of the most fundamental transformations of how a bank is run that Euromoney has ever come across. And it is a transformation that has gone largely unnoticed, and certainly been under-appreciated, until now.
|HSBC's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver|
The transformation is now moving towards fruition, as the underlying earnings power of core businesses re-emerges, as investors regain faith in the value of the franchise and its customers give HSBC more business.
The bank is repositioning for growth in Asia and sticking to its mission of financing cross-border capital flows and trade in a more protectionist world, even as other banks retreat to their own borders.