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HSBC Launches London, Toronto Data & Innovation Labs

On 22 May 2019, HSBC announced it opened its first two data and innovation labs - in London and Toronto - in a bid to accelerate the development of innovative data, cloud and robotics solutions for clients of its Global Banking and Markets (GBM) division.

The labs, which form part of a wider global strategy to simplify and enhance the bank’s technology, will serve as hubs in which to build creative partnerships and co-development opportunities with companies specialising in emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.

The openings are designed to coincide with the launch of the bank’s internship and graduate programmes, in which students and young professionals are introduced to careers in data science and engineering within the bank while exploring business themes ranging from macro-economic payment trends to financial crime insight.

“Creating a high-performing and innovative culture starts with the right people and the right environment. The labs give us the environment, and our internship and graduate programme will give us the people”, said Chuck Teixeira, Chief Administrative Officer and Head of Transformation in GBM.

The data labs are expected to accommodate a total of 150 people, just under 100 in London and over 50 in Canada, within offices designed to foster a flexible and collaborative working environment.

The Toronto lab opened its doors earlier this month and the London hub did so earlier this year. Both will bring together business analytics, data science and technology teams to collaborate a range of new projects.

These mixed-discipline teams will collaborate with HSBC’s GBM businesses to create, among other initiatives, an artificial intelligence ecosystem designed to help develop advanced machine learning techniques to analyse clients’ data. This analysis, which will be carried out under tight internal oversight and controls, is expected to identify clients’ potential future product and service requirements.

“This collaborative approach will make us exponentially more productive and help us achieve our goals more quickly because we will be able to tap into expertise across our data and analytics value chain and build out highly scalable, re-usable and fully automated data products”, added Teixeira.

HSBC is also considering launching hubs in other global centres which demonstrate adequate business demand, including Hong Kong and India.

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