Fri, Nov 17, 2006 - Page 11 News List

HSBC to team up with Eastern Home Shopping

REACHING OUT The bank hopes the deal will complement its online banking service, allowing customers to open and manage their accounts through the Internet or via telephone

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

HSBC Ltd announced yesterday it would team up with Eastern Home Shopping Network (東森購物) to promote its HSBC Direct online banking service in the hope of reaching more customers through the deep penetration of TV shopping channels in Taiwan.

"We will be where the consumers are," HSBC senior manager Michael Zung (陳民康) told a press conference yesterday.

The bank expects to reach more customers and increase brand awareness through its partnership with Eastern Home, Taiwan's largest shopping channel with 3.5 million viewers, the banker said.

This marks HSBC's first alliance with a TV shopping network in Asia. Taiwan is the third largest home shopping market worldwide in terms of revenue, after South Korea and the US, the world's largest bank said.

The campaign comprises two one-hour shows, both of which will run during prime time this Saturday afternoon and next on one of Eastern Home's channels. Further cooperation will be predicated on the results of this initial activity.

The bank, however, declined to state how many customers it expects to lure.

HSBC's Direct online banking service allows customers to open and manage their saving accounts through the Internet and via telephone, rather than at traditional branches, and boasts annual interest rates triple those of regular saving accounts on the market.

The service has been positively received and has attracted as many customers since its rollout eight weeks ago than it takes traditional branches five years to attract, Zung said.

The bank said it was in talks with corporate clients to extend the model to the lucrative payroll account business.

HSBC has invested US$20 million in the direct online/telephone banking service project in Taiwan, making the nation the third market worldwide -- and the first in Asia -- where it has launched the service.

The bank has plans to introduce the service in South Korea and Japan. The two countries have over 20 million and 60 million Internet users, respectively.

The bank did not give a timeframe for these operations.

Organic growth

HSBC president and chief executive officer Michael Smith said last month that the bank will continue its organic growth through investment in new channels like the Internet.

Some local lenders have also launched promotions to woo online banking customers, with Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託商銀) -- which has run online banking services for six years and counts 1 million customers -- offering prizes like Louis Vuitton bags to people who register online before the middle of January.

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