Posted inSoutheast Asia

HSBC Malaysia introduces online fund platform

HSBC customers can buy and sell a range of unit trusts on its Malaysia mobile app for the first time.
A Malay Muslim woman standing by a window of a traditional Malay house in a village and using a mobile phone.

EZInvest, the bank’s new investment platform on its Mobile app, offers its customers a choice of 11 unit trusts denominated in Malaysian ringgit, covering equity, fixed income and multi-asset classes, a spokeswoman told FSA.

“The selection of funds with different risk levels provides diverse geographical allocation across domestic, regional and global markets,” she said.

The app is designed for execution only-type customers, so there are no fund or stock recommendations made.

The products are all managed by third-party other asset managers, because the target investors are retail and all HSBC Global Asset Management funds in Malaysia are wholesale products.

However, the funds are Malaysia-domiciled, and of these, eight are locally-managed, two are feeder funds and one is a fund-of-funds, the spokeswoman said. HSBC Amanah customers can also take advantage of the range of shariah-compliant funds available on EZInvest, she added.

“This is a significant milestone for us, as EZInvest will be the first investment feature on our Mobile app, enabling customers to go beyond payments and transfers,” said Jon Chivers, head of wealth and personal banking, HSBC Malaysia, in a statement.

Fees and requirements

Management fees are embedded within the respective funds, so are not charged directly to customers. The standard sales charge is 1.50% for equity and multi asset funds, and 1% for fixed income funds.

EZInvest customers are eligible for a promotional fee, for example, an introductory sales charge of 0.88% for a limited time, according to the spokeswoman.

Minimum investment amounts depend the respective unit trust fund’s requirements, and ranges between MYR500 to MYR2,000.

All of HSBC Malaysia’s customers with a current account saving account (CAS) and have the mobile app installed are able to access the service, view funds and access fund information and documents.

But, to perform transactions, they need to have an active unit trust investment account, as well as CASA account under their sole name.

Customers’ financial information is protected by a combination of biometric verification, unique username and password, or a one-time security code generated by Mobile Secure Key, according to HSBC Malaysia.

Eight companies in Malaysia have received a digital investment management license from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM). This is a fast-growing space—in 2020, according to SCM data, digital investment managers amassed MYR 466.2m ($115.4m) in assets, compared with MYR 74.7m in 2019.

Domestic asset managers have been launching their own online platforms, including BIMB Investment Management which rolled out its Best Invest mobile app in April 2020, and Affin Hwang Asset Management and Hong Leong Asset Management, which introduced their mobile apps in January this year.

However, managers still see agencies and banks as their key channels in reaching out to existing and older investors, according to Shannen Wong, senior analyst with Boston-based consultancy, Cerulli.

HSBC Bank Malaysia was locally incorporated in 1984 and was the first foreign bank to be awarded an Islamic banking subsidiary licence in Malaysia, HSBC Amanah Malaysia.

HSBC Malaysia has a network of 67 branches nationwide, of which 26 are HSBC Amanah Malaysia branches, according to the bank.

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