Capturing the Latin American Segments: A Case Study of HSBC

by Isabella Fonseca, September 3, 2008


New York, NY, USA September 3, 2008

The Latin American financial sector has undergone a transformation in the last few years. The current low level of financial services penetration in the region provides a solid platform for future growth.

A new report Capturing the Latin American Segment, examines how HSBC, a global bank, entered the emerging market of Latin America. HSBC has organized its products and services to grab as much market share as possible, focusing on all customer levels-from the mass market / mass affluent to the ultra-high net worth.

The bank's regional strategy for growth consisted of the following steps:

  • Successful integration of Grupo Banistmo into HSBC's operations
  • Leveraging growth between business lines
  • Introducing new business lines to service all customer segments
  • Implementing top-of-the-line client service levels to establish competitive advantage

"While it may be a bumpy road toward stability, the Latin American region will continue to offer expansion opportunities for global banks," says Isabella Fonseca, Celent senior analyst and author of the report. "Banks that are under pressure to better deploy capital have recognized Latin America's potential. While it is too early to measure the outcomes of their strategies, this case study represents a success story for other banks interested in establishing a presence in the region," she adds.

For purposes of identifying key aspects of a Central American global bank strategy, this report takes a closer look at a single Central American country: Costa Rica. This small but very prosperous nation of 4.4 million people has been a key target for HSBC in the past year. The report focuses on changes within the bank's regional organization as well as the business and technology strategies employed to compete with established local and foreign banks in the region.

The report is 26 pages long and contains seven figures and eight tables. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's  Wealth Management and Retail Banking research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

New York, NY, USA September 3, 2008

Capturing the Latin American Segments:  A Case Study of HSBC

Executive Summary 3
Targeting Latin America 4
HSBC Latin America: Background 8
Building a Presence 13
Current Situation: A Product-Centric Approach 16
Challenges to Be Resolved 18
Strategy for Improvement and Market Penetration 20
Lessons Learned 22
Conclusions 23


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