Muscat: Corporate sector can leverage new technology solutions to boost growth prospects and better manage their working capital during challenging times in their corporate journey, according to a senior banker in Oman.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, Daniel Felton, general manager and head of Commercial Banking at HSBC Bank Oman, noted that HSBC focuses on relationship banking, where the combination of local presence and the profound expertise gathered by the HSBC Group internationally is customised for its clients in Oman, to provide innovative solutions across all aspects of banking, to best meet their needs.
“For the growth of corporate clients, they must have access to advice, expertise and information, which HSBC can provide due to its local presence and wide network of experts around the world. This combined with the latest technology, can facilitate an environment where organisations can make use of our products to increase efficiency, meet their funding requirements and manage their business through the cycle” he explained, citing examples of companies engaging in a strategic dialogue early in the process to ensure the right range of solutions are provided.
Most organisations reach the dialogue stage with their respective banks when there is an immediate need for funding or the date of project execution approaches an uncomfortable proximity, which allows for little strategic discussion between banks and clients.
SMEs constitute nearly 50 per cent of the workforce in Oman and with future diversification plans they are to play a pivotal role in development of the economy. According to Felton, as HSBC serves nearly every sector and industry worldwide, SMEs should also be engaging in a strategic dialogue with their bank at an early stage to seek advice whilst they work to grow their business.Access to the right information is often as important as access to funding.
“We have market leading technological solutions like our advanced internet banking channel – HSBCnet and liquidity solutions like cash concentration which remove manual processing, increase efficiency and therefore help accelerating decision making process. All of these can prove beneficial for companies looking for efficiencies and better manage their working capital positions. “Online and digital solutions also remove significant operational burdens which can benefit all companies – including SMEs” he added.
Felton elaborated that although there is a significant tightening of liquidity in the country and the region as a whole, technological solutions presented an excellent route to help manage the situation.
“The times are certainly challenging but leveraging technological solutions is an effective way to help better manage cash position. We provide our customers with market leading technology solutions, that allow them to access real time information faster and more efficiently, giving them more time to focus on the strategic and tactical elements of running their business,” he said.Felton noted that this was one of the major discussions of the recent ‘Growth Series’ event held on liquidity management.
HSBC started the ‘Growth Series’ in 2014, initially directed at SMEs and how HSBC could support them more broadly – since then the initiative has expanded and is offered to all corporates and SMEs. A major part of the series was to provide access to information and expertise accumulated by HSBC both locally and globally.
Felton added that the idea was to bring customers together and give them information that is beneficial to their business, to assist them with their growth plans and drive the strategic relationship between the Bank and their clients.