Bank reshuffles foreign exchange team as part of push to enter top ranks of $1.5 trillion-per-day currency markets
New York, 18 May (Bloomberg) ' HSBC Holdings has hired Marc Chandler from Mellon Financial to head its foreign-exchange strategy team in New York, as the number three financial services company continues its expansion in the currency market.
'It is a new position within foreign exchange here,' said Alain Delelis, head of foreign-exchange trading and sales at HSBC Bank USA. Chandler will report to Delelis, who joined HSBC in March from Deutsche Bank where he had been chief currency dealer in New York.
Chandler's hiring is part of the bank's push to break into the ranks of top banks in the $1.5 trillion-per-day currency markets. Since the start of the year, HSBC has boosted its foreign-exchange team with six hires from Deutsche Bank in March, as well as hires from Barclays Capital, Standard Chartered Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston.
'I used to work with (Chandler) at Deutsche Bank, and it was part of my plan to bring him to HSBC,' Delelis said.
HSBC plans to continue hiring in foreign-exchange strategy and sales, he added.
Before joining Mellon in June 1999, Chandler was a senior currency strategist at Deutsche Bank for three-and-a-half years. He will join HSBC as vice president and chief currency strategist on May 29, and will lead a team of three to four analysts directing HSBC's currency strategy for clients and proprietary trading.
HSBC had an estimated 2.4% of global foreign-exchange business in 2000, the 12th-largest share, according to Euromoney magazine's annual industry survey.
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Hong Kong, 18 May (Bloomberg) ' The Hong Kong Association of Banks cut short-term deposit rates by half a percentage point to 2.25%, prompting HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered and other lenders to cut lending rates by the same margin.
The cut, which was expected, may help banks that have been grappling with weak demand for loans. It comes after the Federal Reserve cut its target lending rate by a half-point for the fifth time this year, to 4.0%, to spur US growth.
'There will be another half point cut by the end of the year as the signals from the US economy remain mixed,' said Peter Wong, HKAB chairman and chief executive of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong.
HSBC, Standard Chartered and Hang Seng Bank. immediately cut their prime lending rates by the same margin, to 7.0%, and other banks in the city are expected to follow suit, although the impact on the city's economy is expected to be limited.
'Even though customers saw their disposable income rise after the last four rate cuts, they have not been spending or investing that extra cash because they are worried about job security,' said Stephen Wong, Wing Hang Bank assistant general manager before HKAB's announcement.
Hong Kong interest rates track US rates because the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the U.S. currency. The US Federal Reserve's decision to cut rates prompted the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to cut the rate it uses as a benchmark for lending to banks by the same margin.
The association meets each Friday to set rates on some retail deposits, changes in which are almost always followed by changes in lending rates.
It is losing its rate-setting power from July, the result of a programme of deregulation aimed at making lenders compete for funds and improving consumer choice.
Consultancy KPMG International has presented the association with a report on a possible future role for HKAB after interest rates are deregulated. HKAB's Wong said the member banks will discuss the proposal later this month but he declined to comment on the contents of the report.
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