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Industry roundup: 30 March

Sibos to remain digital-only in 2021

After consulting widely with its customers and partners, SWIFT has taken a decision to keep Sibos a free, digital-only event for 2021 to ensure the safest and best possible experience for the global Sibos community.

From 11-14 October 2021, the financial services cooperative says it will build on the strength of its first all-digital event in 2020 to drive engagement on key and emerging issues through diverse speakers and thought-leadership, spark connections through collaborative networking initiatives and provide more of the insight and inspiration that is unique to Sibos. 

The original plan was for Sibos to come back as a physical event in Singapore this year. SWIFT says that this year's event will still keep a focus on content for the community in Asia, with plenty of sessions available in local time zones. It will share news on the conference themes in due course, and details of the registration timeline also will follow shortly on the Sibos website.

In a statement, SWIFT commented: "We look forward to working with the Sibos community to make this year’s event - the 43th in our history - a success. And we look forward to seeing you in person once again at next year’s Sibos, to take place in Amsterdam from 10-13 October 2022."


HSBC offers green deposits for Hong Kong businesses

HSBC has rolled out green deposits for businesses in Hong Kong. The bank says that commercial customers can now include the sustainability agenda into their treasury activities with a simple and predictable deposit product, contributing to a greener and more resilient future. 

The pandemic has prompted Hong Kong businesses to rethink priorities and plan for more sustainable developments. Almost all Hong Kong companies (96%) believe a greater focus on sustainability will drive growth, with 46% expecting a modest growth of up to 5%; and 14% even seeing a growth of 10% or more, according to the HSBC Navigator survey taken in September and October 2020. Market expectation towards a sustainable operation is also at an all- time high. According to the Climate Insights Report, a research report conducted by HSBC and Morning Consult, close to 90% of Hong Kong individual respondents believe that companies have a moral duty to help create a sustainable future. 

Available in HKD and USD with tenors of three months or above, the fixed-term Green Deposits carries minimum deposit threshold of HKD100,000 or USD20,000 for SMEs. Proceeds will go towards financing eligible businesses and projects that promote the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economy as defined by the HSBC Green Bond Framework. 

"The latest addition of Green Deposits to our comprehensive solutions represents our ongoing commitment in the climate agenda, supporting a wider spectrum of companies to go green," said Frank Fang, head of Commercial Banking, Hong Kong at HSBC. "This in particular can benefit SMEs that might have limited financial resources to drive change."


Thomson Reuters partners with Armanino on tax and compliance business support 

Thomson Reuters has announced a partnership and integration of its indirect tax solutions with Armanino LLP, one of the 25 largest independent accounting and business consulting firms in the US. By combining the best of Thomson Reuters’ content and technology with Armanino’s team of experts versed in sales and use tax complexities faced by clients doing business in multiple jurisdictions, this partnership aims to solve go-to-market problems for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). 

The pair say that their offering provides difference in the marketplace, with US-based experts on both sides to provide a more hands-on, tailored approach to each client’s specific business situation versus the one-size-fits-all often offered by competitors.

Due to implications from the 2018 Wayfair decision ruling all states may charge tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers, all US businesses must now comply with a tremendous amount of tax regulations. Companies in the SMB market must understand the elements of tax penalties - with over 15,000 jurisdictions and 75,000 changes annually - and by not complying, both companies and entrepreneurs are at risk. 

“We now help small to medium-sized businesses focus on driving growth and complying with government regulation, without the worry of managing those complexities,” said Chris Carlstead, head of Partnerships and Alliances for Thomson Reuters. “Tax determination and compliance are complicated, and through this union, we’re giving more businesses access to a single unified tax solution allowing them to focus on their customers."

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