HSBC talks to phone shops about selling investments

HSBC talks to phone shops about selling investments

Big name brands with no connection to the financial services industry are looking into distributing investment products, according to the chief executive of HSBC Global Asset Management.

Andy Clark said brand will be an important factor in the expansion of asset management to the mass-market.

“There is probably not a big brand in asset management, people might have heard of names like Fidelity but there is real space for a trusted brand,” he said.

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“I do think we will see non-financial services brands start looking closely at this.”

He revealed HSBC has talked to mobile phone companies who were interested in offering investment products, and had had “interesting conversations” with retailers about how they can distribute funds.

“What it comes down to is technology platforms with a brand who are looking at how they can leverage that. This is one area they are looking at.”

Mr Clark said the cost of asset management has proved to be key in some of the conversations he has been having. “We weren’t having these conversations two years ago, but now everyone is looking to access the market at a fair price.

“There is always space for a wide variety of asset managers, but some of these will want partners that will still be around in 10 years’ time.”

There has been much talk of disruption in the financial services industry of late, with some stakeholders suggesting the big banks have the most to fear from new entrants, especially as new digital initiatives are set to open up client data to third parties.

Peter Matthew, managing director of Cornwall-based Jacksons Wealth Management, was cautiously optimistic about potentially seeing bond funds available at Tesco.

“I have said for a long time that for most people, a fairly basic Isa and pension is all they need but nobody goes out and actually buys those. Nobody will go out do this year’s Isa while they are picking up a copy of OK magazine.

“If it provides access to this stuff in a way that’s non-threatening then great but I would be more worried than excited.”