Feeds

HSBC pins hopes on Borat and IPO-pimping ATMs

For make benefit sub-prime crisis

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Forget the good, old US of A. HSBC wants to bet on places like Kazakhstan for its financial future.

Ray O'Brien, an HSBC IT investment exec, unveiled his Borat-inspired plan to rule the world last night during an Intel-funded gig at Tate Modern. The grizzled financial markets in the US and Western Europe do little to inspire financial types in search of the next big thing and high margin deals. So, HSBC plans to milk the developing world for all it can by setting up trading markets and installing things such as ATM machines that let the world's poor take part in IPOs (initial public offerings).

"2007 marked the end of the dominance of the US in our markets," O'Brien said, shocking the Yanks in the crowd.

O'Brien later asked us not to print that statement as it would upset his coworkers in the US, but, hey, he made the remark in front of 200 people, and we don't have the skills yet to erase all of their minds. During a private chat, he qualified the US crack, saying that everyone expects a recession to hit the US, making it a rather grim market.

HSBC's enthusiasm for the developing world proves robust.

"I am the biggest bank in Kazakhstan," O'Brien said, holding back the urge to thump chest like a tie-wearing Gorilla.

The financial set believes that a variety of new money-swapping models will take place in the so-called emerging markets.

"2008 is all about the New World," O'Brien said, adding also that, "Mobile banking will be the biggest thing to hit this industry in the next five to ten years."

It's very difficult, for example, for workers in places such as Mexico, India and Africa to hold onto their cash or travel around with it out of fear of thievery. Mobile banking and micro-payments, however, will allow the poor to set up bank accounts, keep their money and pay for things without terror.

Even more intriguing are HSBC's ideas around flash ATMs.

"We are now doing IPOs on ATMs," O'Brien said.

As it turned out, O'Brien couldn't actually name one country where HSBC is doing IPOs on ATMs when we chatted later, but he still likes the idea.

Basically, a country such as Saudia Arabia could promote the IPO of a new business to citizens rather than foreign banks. Slap in your card, type in your pin and then start gambling on the latest and greatest new business.

"This would keep capital in the actual countries," O'Brien told us.

Sure, it's fun to talk about tapping into the world's poor for better margins, but in the end, the big boys are really eyeing China's deepening pockets more than anything else.

"It's all about Asia and China," O'Brien said. "Isn't China the world's biggest economy?"

Er, well, we don't think so, no. But we're just journalists not financial wizards. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.