Most Powerful Women in Banking: Diane Reyes, HSBC

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Group General Manager and Global Head of Liquidity and Cash Management

Banks aren’t famous for their ability to make fast cultural or digital transformations, but Diane Reyes led HSBC through both this year, in a global pandemic, resulting in record payment volumes and value across online and mobile channels. And Reyes, the global head of liquidity and cash management, expects the shift to be permanent.

“Clients who weren’t previously reliant on digital, or didn’t see its value, now do,” Reyes said, adding that they’ll “be reaping the rewards of digitization long after the pandemic.”

In February, Reyes launched a transformation program across her unit that uses different technologies to improve client experiences. U.S. teams found, among other things, that they could log client inquiries in seconds, versus three minutes in person, and automatically compose email responses to routine requests. Canada and U.K. teams are set to adopt this software next, and save 70,000 hours on 1.4 million inquiries each year.

HSBC also held webinars for clients to discuss key topics and made it easier to access accounts online with a code sent to their phone, rather than a hard token, deposit checks digitally and email instructions rather than provide paper copies.

Being at the forefront of disruptive technologies is kind of Reyes’s MO. This year her team was invited to join the World Economic Forum’s Digital Currency Governance Consortium, which steers discussions on the global use of digital currencies. That builds on three years of her work examining the role of artificial intelligence, blockchain and central bank digital currencies in the future of payments.

Cultural changes are here to stay too.

“The way people have stayed connected virtually has broken down barriers and brought us closer — and I will continue to build on this team spirit,” Reyes said.

For the first time, American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees' stories and experiences. Register here.

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