Skip to content

Gilman Patrick LLC

Download your FREE Guide to…

Gilman Patrick NEW logo 2024
Home » Blog list » Case Study: Citizens Bank Acquisition of HSBC Branches & Assets

Case Study: Citizens Bank Acquisition of HSBC Branches & Assets

Case Study: Citizens Bank Acquisition of HSBC Branches & Assets

The merging of financial institutions can be an enormous, mind-boggling project.

The consolidation process is made even more complicated when the buyer is undergoing digital transformation – and the newly purchased institution is experiencing staff loss as employees seek new positions.

I was able to assist Citizens Bank as they pursued their own digital transformation and the acquisition of HSBC bank concurrently.

Citizens Bank: Making a Major Bank Purchase Amidst Digital Transformation

Situation: Citizens Bank agreed to purchase HSBC branches and assets, which represented the largest asset transaction in over a decade for the Bank.

Citizens Bank was also in the middle of a digital transformation with the FIS Modern Banking Platform. The remaining staff at HSBC were under pressure to secure new positions as the London-based bank ended its presence in the U.S.

HSBC’s systems were highly customized for its specific market niches requiring a specific expertise and understanding of their data.

Historical Background: Established in 1865 as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC took over Buffalo-based Marine Midland Bank in 1980, which was rebranded as HSBC in late 1990. After 4 decades of banking in the U.S., HSBC began a decade-long process of exiting the US retail market. Once a familiar global banking giant, HSBC branches were purchased by Citizens Bank in 2021.

Problem: Any available talent at Citizens Bank was already assigned to existing projects and the digital transformation.

Citizens Bank dismantled its program office over a decade earlier for a business-as-usual agile model, which suited their daily business activities and increment improvement projects. It was woefully inadequate for massive and disruptive projects. Especially the digital transformation, HSBC acquisition and pending Investor Bank merger.

HSBC Talent Was Thinning Everyday Through Attrition

All of the following set the stage for a laborious process:

  • Dwindling talent pools
  • No program office
  • No data migration or implementation expertise

Advice: I advised Citizens to contract with a consulting team who had already successfully performed an HSBC acquisition. Someone who had the expertise to stand up a program office, and had recent data migration and implementation experiences.

Action: Through Northcross Group, a team of experts were assembled with decades of experience in mergers and acquisitions, program offices and specific HSBC acquisition experience through a previous project with First Niagara Bank.

Here’s what these experts decided to do:

  • Created a new program office with new processes, tools, and practices to support all of Citizens’ digital transformation, HSBC acquisition and Investors Bank merger.
  • Organized data migration and implementation teams, which were managed by the consulting team.
  • Established task cadences, bringing the teams through a series of mock data migrations and implementation dress rehearsals which led up to a successful and uneventful acquisition weekend.

Outcome: Assembling a team of experts saved Citizens Bank time and money.

The in-depth knowledge of HSBC systems and data allowed Citizens to manage its financial risk tightly with HSBC and brought a deep understanding of data risks to customers. It made for a quick and successful acquisition.

A robust program office was established with all the policies, procedures, tools, and practices that proved successful with the Investors Bank merger and other pending merger and acquisition projects.

Patrick Martin is an industry expert in banking technology. He deciphers the elements that work collectively towards progress – building a roadmap for successful execution. Contact him today to see how he can use his innovative strategies and industry expertise to help your organization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *