The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated HSBC’s adoption of digital technology, according to Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn.

Speaking at Hong Kong Fintech week, Mr Quinn said the bank’s employees had rapidly embraced new ways of serving customers during the crisis.

“When COVID hit the world, our own balance sheet – our lending assets – grew by USD40 billion in the space of about eight to nine weeks,” he said. “And that was all done by homeworking and our colleagues executing their job at a time of high stress.”

Adapting to a new world (duration 3:58) Noel Quinn tells Hong Kong Fintech Week how HSBC is using digital tools to enhance the personal service it gives to customers

Mr Quinn said that HSBC was building digital banking capabilities comparable with any fintech or competitor – and using those new digital tools to support and enhance the personal service its employees have always provided to customers.

“That is a powerful combination,” said Mr Quinn. “I still believe that having a relationship with an individual that is supported through very effective digital interaction is the best of both worlds.”