Asian Economic Community
8 March 2012
Last Tuesday night on the 6th of March 2012, I went up to the 29th floor and joined Servcorp Business Shot. The Business Shot is the networking event with a short presentation and this time the subject was about The Prospects of the Banking Industry by Mr. Matthew Lobner, CEO of HSBC Thailand. Personally I think the event was very interesting and the subject was relevant to Broadgate Financials business.
The main issue that Mr. Lobner mentioned about was the change in outflow investment atmosphere both in Thailand and many countries around the world. Most countries still focus on an export driven economy and encourage their people to consume domestic goods instead of imported products. With the outflow investment trend, the banking industry needs to prepare itself and make sure that it can support new investments for companies. Moreover, the AEC (Asean Economic Community) is coming closer and closer and will be fully operational in 2015 and we can expect to see a lot more cross border investments within Asia. Banking in Thailand has to prepare for this change, we can see what could happen is the lower restriction in the Banking sector and also more openness to foreign banks. When being asked about HSBC’s current situation, Mr. Lobner seemed a little uncomfortable which is completely understandable since HSBC is going through an organizational change but he said what HSBC focuses to do is to protect clients money and clearly separate investments from deposits. But whatever reason it is, I hope HSBC will smoothly go through these changes and continue the business successfully.
When I think about the upcoming AEC in 2015, there will be a huge change in peoples perception about trading and investments. The boundary between people from different countries will be far less than ever especially within Asian communities. For Thailand where most people still live conservatively and are resistance to change, I expect to see Thailand and its people become more diverse in the way they think they can do with their money and generate healthy returns. As a private boutique bank in Thailand, Broadgate is preparing its model for the AEC investment atmosphere in 2015.