HSBC Securities Services has launched outsourced clearing and settlement processing services for broker-dealers in Thailand, expanding on the bank’s footprint for so-called account operator services in the region, where emerging markets will be a key focus.

The new service is being offered to local Thai and cross-border broker-dealers seeking to outsource their securities back-office operations. HSBC will clear and settle trades executed on the Thailand Stock Exchange on behalf of broker-dealers, who will continue to handle front-office activities, including research, trading and investor servicing.

HSBC’s entry into the third-party agency clearing service market in Thailand pits it against global banking rival Citi, which has been providing outsourced broker-dealer services in the country since 2006.

Colin Brooks, HSBC Securities Services global head of sub-custody and clearing, says the bank is in talks primarily with cross-border broker-dealer clients for the use of its Thai outsourcing services, “in addition to a select group of brokers who we believe will be potentially interested in it”.

Thailand is the second Asian emerging market, after India, where HSBC has launched account operator services, and follows regional roll-outs in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. HSBC has ambitions to be the leading broker-dealer outsourcing  provider in Asia, says Brooks.

Emerging Asian markets are “very important” in the expansion of HSBC’s service footprint, notes Brooks. “The product suite is particularly relevant where international brokers are looking to get into new markets, but don’t want to build out their infrastructure" due to costs.

The bank's launch of broker-dealer outsourcing in Thailand follows the appointment last month of Nico Torchetti as HSBC’s head of product development for its global sub-custody and clearing unit, focusing on its burgeoning broker-dealer outsourcing business in the region.

More launches in Asia of the service suite are planned in the future “wherever regulations permit”, says Brooks.