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Niccolo Polli (HSBC) : Weighing the Impact of AI


Interviewer Jim Kent explores the potential of Generative AI with Niccolo Polli, CEO of HSBC in Luxembourg. Polli says that AI can accelerate and simplify transactions; increase employees' productivity and interact with customers to reduce risks in ways that can enhance HSBC’s value proposition with employees becoming more focused on fulfillment. 

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Where have we reached with AI? ​

AI is not new. Google has been using it for around six years to predict the next word based on common searches, your profile, location, and current events, etc. What we're witnessing now is a more advanced version, where it can engage in conversations, anticipate what comes next, and generate content that wasn't possible five years ago. I'd like to focus on Generative AI (Gen. AI), which I believe will significantly impact our internal operations in the long term. AI can be either internal-facing, helping employees enhance productivity, or external-facing, directly interacting with customers. AI will enhance our value proposition with employees becoming more focused on fulfillment. 

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“AI will enhance our value proposition with employees becoming more focused on fulfillment”   


How will AI affect the way we work?​

For decisions on whether to buy, rent, lease, or finance a car, generative AI can provide options that HSBC could offer. But when it comes to finalizing the decision, it's advisable to speak with someone to ensure that you've selected the right product for the right individual at the right time. People’s frustration at the delay in money transfers outside the European Seppa system will be overcome with our Orion platform. The speed of creating and settling bond transactions can be greatly accelerated. Instead of involving local registers, notaries, and lawyers to prove ownership and facilitate sales, a central registry for digitized bonds could be established. Tokenized bonds can be transacted and settled instantly with a centrally located ledger.

Does this technology increase risk?

“Deep fakes” are a significant risk to vulnerable customers. A Hong Kong TV show falsely showed our Group CEO and the Mayor of Hong Kong endorsing an HSBC product offering guaranteed returns. Customers need to be educated to recognize the red flags. A second risk is Gen. AI hallucinations when AI generates incorrect or nonsensical information. That's why we won't implement a direct-to-customer approach just yet. We'll always involve an employee as an intermediary. It's essential to have appropriate safeguards to mitigate these risks. Smart contracts play a crucial role by specifying the conditions under which a trade can be executed. You can intentionally include checks and balances such as requiring a notary or a third party to verify the legitimacy of a transaction. This can help prevent costly mistakes like fat-finger errors.

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