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HSBC Subiaco manager Peter Nikoloski with Tim Soutar. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian.
HSBC Subiaco manager Peter Nikoloski with Tim Soutar. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian.

WA's booming expatriate community will be targeted by global banking giant HSBC as part of an aggressive move into the WA market.

Lured by the State's growing overseas-born population and a buoyant local economy, HSBC has opened its fourth branch in WA.

Graham Heunis, HSBC Australia's head of retail banking and wealth management, said the new Subiaco branch was part of a deeper focus on the west coast.

"HSBC's future in Western Australia extends beyond retail banking," he said. "WA's integration and trade flows with Asia also present opportunities for HSBC's SME and corporate business customers."

The company's growth plan for WA has several planks, including becoming the bank of choice for expatriates working in WA, filling the banking needs of international students, supplying services to WA exporters and being wealth managers to the State's "mass affluent".

With a well-established brand in Britain, HSBC is well placed to scoop up the banking business of the 10 per cent of Perth residents who were born in Britain.

The bank's strong links to Asia, particularly Hong Kong and China, will likely prove useful given the surge in population and capital flows between WA and China.

"Our ability to allow people to bank seamlessly across geographies is probably the big hook," Mr Heunis said.

"For example, people who have a relationship with us in the UK and in Australia are able to view their accounts through one internet banking site and transfer money instantaneously between those sites. No other bank can offer that."

The new Subiaco branch and the one-year-old Joondalup branch were enjoying the same "traction" as offices in the Eastern States.

"Given the strong UK population in WA I would expect that to continue," Mr Heunis said.

Last month, an internal HSBC survey of expatriates bolstered the case for a push into WA after it emerged that Australia had the world's fourth-biggest intake of expatriates currently and was the second-most popular destination for current expatriates' next postings.

Separate research, from July, strengthened the case for a bigger presence in WA, with polling showing more than a third of Australian SMEs already imported or exported as part of their business and an additional 21 per cent planned to trade internationally in the next 12 months.

The West Australian

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