The strength, length and depth of HSBC’s relationships in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region have been highlighted during a visit to the bank by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to HSBC Tower on January 15 marked the occasion of the first meeting in the UAE of the HSBC Holdings Board of Directors, one of the board’s scheduled overseas governance meetings for 2020.
Greeted by Group Chairman Mark Tucker, Sheikh Mohammed toured the bank’s UAE HQ and met with senior executives, including Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn and Global Banking & Markets CEO Samir Assaf.
Discussions during the visit covered HSBC’s extensive activities in the country, the origins of which date back to 1946 when HSBC forerunner – The British Bank of the Middle East – opened the first bank in what subsequently became the UAE.
The discussions also put a focus on the future as the UAE prepares to host Expo 2020, the showcase of global innovation and connectivity that is expected to draw 25 million visitors and which will enable the world to see the potential of the MENAT region through a lens with which HSBC always has: one of huge opportunity for customers with ambitions to make global connections.
Speaking at a dinner for HSBC talent in the UAE, Mark highlighted the importance of the enduring presence and relationships the bank has built throughout the MENAT region, since first opening its doors for business in the region in 1889.
“This region’s contribution to the Group has been immense,” Mark told guests at the dinner, which included the HSBC Holdings Board of Directors, members of HSBC’s Group Management Board and the MENAT Exco.
“We have a tremendous history here and that history is still being written every day by the team in this region,” Mark said.
HSBC MENAT’s 9,700 staff serve around 2 million customers in nine markets across all four lines of business, generating the biggest source of profit for the Group after the Asia Pacific.
The strength and intensity of those client relationships was evident to Mark and Noel in the host of meetings they held with Global Banking & Markets and Commercial Banking clients in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and also in the neighbouring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The meetings highlighted the clear potential HSBC sees in MENAT – a region with a unique geography connecting three continents, a heritage that makes it central to China’s Belt & Road Initiative, and a demographic profile driving a US$2.4 trillion investment agenda to meet anticipated urban infrastructure demand in countries which are increasingly diversifying their economies away from dependence on oil.