How HSBC Built a 10K User Content Community in 18 Months

See how the HSBC team gained the necessary smart controls and structure that reflected their business, governance, and insights they needed.

Key Results
  • Improved content findability by 83%
  • Improved content governance by 7%
  • Enhanced usage of content by 32%
Company Size



Financial Services


HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services institutions, serving tens of millions of consumers and businesses through its three Global Businesses. HSBC Global Banking serves the largest multinational corporate and institutional clients. When Global Banking decided to invest further in how it serves and supports those clients, it required a transformation underpinned by the best quality technology and enablement in the market. With over 10,000 users in 44 markets, implementing new technologies and encouraging large-scale adoption is a significant undertaking. One important piece of this puzzle, Highspot, was a secure, flexible and instantly scalable solution.


Safely From Idea to Client at Speed

In modernising its client service model, HSBC aimed to help its employees quickly access knowledge and expertise. However, the existing  systems were somewhat siloed across business lines, regions and products. “We have highly experienced and qualified employees, but they sometimes had to stretch to find great ideas and information around the organisation,” said James Bickerton, Global Head of Client Development, Global Banking. “They often needed to be in the right place at the right time to find a previously successful case study or a piece of information that might help them take something new to their client.” This meant that maximising great ideas or best practice, was too often down to good fortune and wasted precious time.

The team knew it needed a solution to centralise its assets for employees so that they could not only find the right information, but get it into the hands of client facing teams faster. “The issue was being able to find the content, serve it to our frontline employees and on to our clients in a timely manner,” explained Josh Hetherington, senior product owner at HSBC. “We wanted a multi-disciplinary platform that was a one-stop shop for all of our frontline colleagues, a place where they could find content and best practice, whether it related to a specific macroeconomic theme, product or industry.”

HSBC knew it needed to make a change, and in assessing potential partners, security and data control was a notable top priority. “In financial services, the control environment is exceptionally strong and we certainly don’t want to dilute any of our risk management in deploying new capabilities. In fact, we want to bolster it” shared Bickerton.

The platform needed increasing layers of appropriate control. Specifically, open access for non-sensitive information, tighter control for team’s intellectual property and ring-fenced, hard controls for the really sensitive elements. All underpinned by monitoring and MI.

James Bickerton, Global Head of Client Development, Global Banking, HSBC
James Bickerton

A Single Source of Truth, Building a Community

After implementing Highspot, the HSBC team gained all of the necessary smart controls, structure that reflected their business, governance and insights they required. “The missing link for us was something that brought together both the content – rich topics across the macroeconomic environment, industry, solutions and best practise – and the expertise. The platform then helps us monitor for best quality, while keeping it current,” said Bickerton. “Highspot provides a fresh, exciting experience for our employees and has led to a community around content.”

With this centralised access to the right content and insights on what works with clients, HSBC empowered collaboration across borders. “We wanted to be able to collaborate as one bank and automate repetitive tasks,” shared Hetherington. In fact, since implementing Highspot, HSBC has made it easier for its teams to both find and take action with content, achieving an 83% improvement in content findability and a 32% increase in usage of that content.

With more interactions with clients and better visibility into what resonates, the team can make strategic decisions to improve client engagement. “Before, when content was being sent to our clients and shared by our frontline, we had no way of governing or recording where the content was being sent, who was engaging with it, what they liked about it, and what they didn’t,” noted Hetherington.

Importantly, as the team made this transition, it was able to uphold its essential control measures to confidently ensure compliance and risk management. “I have to give a particular shout-out to our teams, both HSBC’s and Highspot’s, for moving mountains in the space of a few months so we could configure the right controls, pass necessary reviews and deliver on time,” highlighted Bickerton. In fact, the team not only upheld these standards, but added a whole new sphere of data control through reporting of content that was previously unused or shared cautiously in email.

The fact that we can now start to record which pieces of content they’re actively using, how frequently it’s being used, is a credit to the platform we’ve introduced.

Josh Hetherington, Senior Product Owner, HSBC
Josh Hetherington

Accessibility Enables a Community at Scale

As HSBC has boosted its overall content findability, usage, and governance, it has seen an excellent improvement in engagement from its employees. “Each month, the user base is growing, which means we’re also seeing user engagement increase, as well,” shared Hetherington. In fact, the team sees more than 15,000 unique interactions through the platform each month.

As employees have become active in the platform, HSBC has been able to foster a vibrant, connected community across its business. “We are starting to see the feedback come through the platform as well – the reviews, the ratings, the comments from people in the industry verticals – which I’m really excited about,” added Bickerton. “A community is starting to come to life, and I think that’s the key: If we can bring everyone in the conversation out of email, out of the side of desk, and into the platform, we will just build upon that and learn from each other.” This enhanced engagement and collaboration has helped accelerate digital transformation at HSBC, securing the confidence of the company.

Our leadership is saying that Highspot is something we should have had all along.

James Bickerton, Global Head of Client Development, Global Banking, HSBC

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