HSBC has launched a digital portal designed to facilitate business relationships among its commercial clients.

The HSBC Connections Hub allows the bank’s business customers to create profiles of their brands, including details of products or services, location and other commercial intel. A matching engine then highlights potential buyers or sellers whom customers could do business with in other geographic markets.

Finder service
"We see this social connectivity as an added benefit for our clients, “ an HSBC spokeswoman says in describing its new web portal that links clients of the bank who could do business with each other. Adobe Stock

Customers can also search and view the profiles of specific businesses by location, industry and products or services, and they can send private messages using the service.

Though HSBC will not charge for the service, it is a good example of how banks are seeking any competitive edge they can to draw customers at a time when commercial loan growth has slowed.

“This is completely free for our commercial customers," an HSBC spokeswoman said. "The crux of why we launched Connections Hub is to allow customers to connect with other businesses from a range of sizes. We see this social connectivity as an added benefit for our clients. “

The hub is open to businesses in Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. France is scheduled to be added in the coming weeks, and other countries will be added in the second half of the year, the bank said in a press release Thursday.

“Researching and connecting with new business partners can be a daunting task, and one that gets harder with distance,” Richard Davis, global head of propositions for HSBC's commercial banking unit, said in the release. "Every business interacting through the hub is an HSBC customer, giving users confidence that they already have one practical connection in common.”