HSBC has been running its In the future campaign for some time but only in my recent trip to Mexico was I exposed to it as they have no presence in Finland. The core message is an evolution of their classical “The world’s local bank”. Now that their audience should know that HSBC knows how to make business happen in different markets they bring home the fact that while the developed world is undergoing the Great Recession, people in emerging markets are still doing well, thank you very much, which is changing where business opportunities come from, how they develop and scale, and what kind of new flexibilities the smaller entrepreneur would need.
The campaign touches on themes such as emerging market growth, technological startups, currency hedging and the fact that, obviously, HSBC is the bank to help you make it all happen. Having just visited a country that is expected to grow 3.7% this year and 3.9% the next, the message really resonated.
The only sad part is that their touchpoint strategy seems to be focusing on a very traditional marketing mix with plenty of media buys, but then again, I wouldn’t expect a totally revolutionary campaign from a bank 😉 .
From my experience, I would say that in general Finland has a very modern, developed banking system. I haven't seen a cheque since I moved here (thank the Lord), and you can handle most of your affairs electronically. Personal service is not as consistent.
In general, over the counter service is pretty friendly and at the bank you also have access to an advisor. The issue I encountered, however, was when checking with other banks about mortgage options. Whereas my bank treated me really well, the same was not repeated when checking out with another. Although I understand perfectly (especially with the current economic climate) why they would be cautious, some of the reactions from the bank representative puzzled me a little bit.
We were discussing our background and when we mentioned that I am also educated her answer was something along the lines of "Really?". When she asked for my profession she was also rather sceptic, but the one that really made me unease about the whole deal was when she asked for my job title, as she suggested "So, are you an assistant?" which was completely out of line with what I had told her about my professional experience, meaning that basically she didn't believe anything I said, even though all of that is easily cross-referenceable, e.g. my income.
When I mentioned the issue to my mates, they suggested that I shouldn't have spoken Finnish to the person at all even though I'm fluent. I wonder what kind of prejudices kicked in?