“ Customer needs are at the forefront of everything we do ”
David Subba is Director of Commercial Relations with HSBC UK, a position he has held for over five years. Wanda Rich, Editor-in-Chief of the Global Banking & Finance Review, explained how the role is changing due to shrinking branches and increased digitization of the role of relationship managers in helping business clients rebuild themselves. after the pandemic and the importance of strong relationships undue challenge.
At HSBC, what role does relationship banking play? what is its importance?
At HSBC UK, Relationship Managers (RM) play a vital role in helping our clients reach their full potential.
RMs provide tailor-made support to individual clients, ensuring the best use of the right products and also using the power of the HSBC network to engage with specialists and industry experts in over 60 markets around the world.
The role of RM is essential in developing relationships with clients and in supporting companies in their search for expansion and growth. Our RMs put customer needs first in everything they do, and we aim to set world-class standards that provide our customers with the best chance for success.
Can you tell us about the Relationship Manager Development Program and its importance?
The role of the RM grows and develops over time and, as we strive to provide the best service to our clients, it is essential that our RMs have development opportunities that allow them to achieve an ambitious career in the world. within the commercial bank.
Our RMs join the Relationship Manager Development Program which lasts at least three years and aims to provide colleagues with opportunities to understand different types of businesses allowing them to gain experience and knowledge.
This personally benefits our RMs by developing their skills and empowering them to find areas in which they excel, which in turn provides our clients with an even better level of service.
How do your account managers help support client companies?
RMs provide a range of end-to-end solutions designed to help small and large businesses grow. This includes everything from daily advice on managing cash flow to longer-term strategic funding decisions and supporting businesses as they seek new avenues for growth.
At HSBC UK, our RMs work closely with clients to support their ambitions, whether it is to expand overseas and understand the nuances of exports and imports or strive to achieve their sustainability goals that we can support through sustainable finance products.
The relationships our RMs build are critical to the success of our business and our customers. We also find that by nurturing close relationships over a period of time, customers will be more likely to contact us and speak to us during the most difficult times, which will allow us to understand the challenges they face so that we can provide the right advice and effective funding. solutions.
How is the role changing, with shrinking branches and increased use of digital channels?
We are seeing more and more customers coming to us for advice and assistance rather than just helping us with transactions. The pandemic has been a huge accelerator of digital change in society, and businesses of all shapes and sizes have had to keep pace. While digital enhancements such as check digitization and digital signatures reduce the need for customers to meet RMs face to face at branches, RM still has a huge role to play in the future of commercial banking. .
Companies are at different stages of their own digital journey, with some much more advanced and others in need of additional support. RMs continue to work closely with clients to understand their individual needs and provide them with the right digital banking tools necessary to fully understand their own cash and funding needs.
We’re also seeing more and more businesses focus on the sustainability agenda as they seek to integrate sustainable operations into their day-to-day operations as they recover from the pandemic. Companies are feeling pressure from a number of external sources to put sustainability at the top of their agenda, and RMs talk to them about the range of sustainable finance products that can support their green ambitions.
Businesses have never needed sound financial advice more than they do today as the economy seeks to recover from the pandemic. The role of the RM has always been focused on strong relationships and this will continue to be the case as technology and digital tools evolve.
How have you had to adapt the way you interact with customers due to the current pandemic?
Throughout the pandemic, the priority has been for our NCMs to stay close to their customers. Businesses were facing truly unprecedented challenges unlike anything they had experienced before and knowing that we were there to support them was vital.
NCMs were encouraged to speak with clients regularly and were instrumental in breaking down and explaining the government’s COVID loan programs so that clients could access the vital funds they needed as quickly as possible.
As RM we were also facing the same challenges as our clients, it was as much an unprecedented time for us as it was for them and during these times of rapid change it was essential that we fully understand the new programs and how they could help customers. . Through continuous dialogue, we were able to fully understand the impact of clients and provide them with the advice, information and funding they needed to be successful.