HSBC chooses Scotland for its risk and compliance centre of excellence

HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, selected Scotland to establish a UK centre for its global risk and compliance operations.

HSBC's continued growth in Scotland

Risk and compliance is an area of growing and critical importance to the global banking sector. As a result, HSBC wanted to create a UK centre of excellence to handle those functions.

HSBC opened their Global Risk Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh in February 2016. In 2017, HSBC announced further expansion in Scotland creating in the region of 500 new roles, increasing the company's Scottish headcount to around 4,500.

This further expansion (at its centres in Edinburgh and Hamilton) is testament to the strength of Scotland’s financial services sector and to the confidence international companies have in the skill and value of the Scottish workforce.

HSBC currently operates in 64 countries and territories, serving more than 40 million customers worldwide.

HSBC's global business operations in Scotland include its retail bank, private bank, corporate bank and investment bank. Scotland is also home to several HSBC retail branches. 

“When it comes to managing financial risk and compliance, Edinburgh, with its long history as a banking and financial centre has a global reputation for excellence. Our new base also gives us access to a top pool of talent, a pool that is being fed by Scottish universities offering dedicated degrees in risk management. These courses support our activities in financial risk, compliance risk, and operational risk."

Paul Kelly, HSBC group head of strategic engagement, risk assessment and compliance

A global centre for financial services

HSBC recognised three significant attributes of Scotland:

  • Its global reputation in banking and finance
  • The access it offers to a deep and growing pool of financial and technical talent
  • Good transport connections to HSBC’s other global locations, in London, India, North America, and the Far East

As global markets become more complicated and interdependent, the need for effective oversight has become even more crucial. 

Scotland’s location, ideally placed between the European, American, and Far Eastern markets, allows our financial sector to work on the 'follow the sun' model, enabling companies to do business 24/7.

Paul explains: “Within our Edinburgh centre we undertake many activities across financial crime compliance, regulatory compliance, wholesale credit and market risk, operational risk, and risk analytics."

Sourcing talent through Scotland's universities

An additional benefit for HSBC in selecting Edinburgh for its new base is the high level of collaboration and connectivity between government, academia, and industry.

Paul says: “We're already growing our relations with the Scottish university sector, to provide students with research projects. That sort of activity improves their understanding of our business and activities.”

Of Scotland’s annual pool of 97,000 graduates, 12% graduate from financial technology related courses. Across Scotland there are many specialised finance, banking and risk management courses available. Nine of Scotland’s 17 universities provide more than 50 specialised courses (mostly at postgraduate level).

“The new graduates coming on stream are already contributing to our business,” says Paul.

Scotland, a great place to live, work and invest

Scotland’s financial sector is the largest in the UK outside of London, hosting more than 2,000 financial services companies. An established and growing fintech sector, a skilled and adaptable workforce, and easy access to the world’s global financial markets, make Scotland a great place to live, work, and invest.

Scotland also has an extremely attractive cost of living compared to other leading financial centres. Add in our equally vibrant culture, traditions and world-famous scenery, and they combine to produce a hotbed of opportunities for financial companies.

As HSBC continues to grow in Scotland, we will continue to provide support and advice.

You may also be interested in

Financial services and fintech

Scotland is the UK’s largest financial centre outside London with a thriving fintech community. Find out more about the finance industry in Scotland.

Barclays Glasgow Campus

Global financial firm, Barclays, are building a state-of-the-art campus in Glasgow for their functions, technology and operations teams. Find out why they chose Glasgow.

Digital skills support

Discover how Scotland's digital talent is benefiting businesses around the world and how Skills Development Scotland can help you access that talent.

Got a question about finance and fintech in Scotland? Get in touch with our team of advisers.