Senior exit from HSBC as 20-year veteran lands top UOB job

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Senior exit from HSBC as 20-year veteran lands top UOB job

Jon Bowden, one of HSBC’s most experienced technologists, has moved to UOB as head of core banking.

He has relocated to Singapore from Geneva, Switzerland, where he had most recently spent two years as IT head of core banking engineering for global private banking (GPB) at HSBC, according to his LinkedIn profile. UOB declined to comment on his appointment.

Tech veteran Bowden joined HSBC back in 2000 as a New York-based applications architect supporting its private bank. He was the bank’s head of IT for the US between 2010 and 2014, before shifting to Geneva as head of banking platform, a role he held concurrently with his GPB position from 2018. In Geneva, Bowden was responsible for the IT aspects of HSBC’s global platform replacement programme.

HSBC announced in February that it is cutting 35,000 jobs, particularly in Europe, although Bowden’s departure is not thought to be associated with the restructuring. HSBC's global equities chief Hossein Zaimi also left the bank this month.

Bowden’s new firm, UOB, is in the midst of a hiring drive in technology. About 40% of UOB’s current Singapore-based vacancies are in tech, according to its careers site. Singapore’s three local banks – UOB, DBS and OCBC – are recruiting more technologists this year as usage of their digital platforms surges during the pandemic.

UOB chief executive Wee Ee Cheong, speaking at the firm’s Q1 results presentation, said UOB’s digital banking services have become “essential tools” as more customers perform transactions from home. The bank may provide further details on its tech expansion when it publishes its half-year earnings on 6 August.

The Singapore bank has also recently demonstrated its ability to poach people from tech firms. It hired AI expert Roger Sindreu from Grab last month.

New UOB recruit Bowden started his banking tech career as an analyst programmer at Lloyds Bank International in London back in 1985. He worked for Republic National Bank in the same city from 1990 to 1999, when that firm was acquired by HSBC.

Photo: eugenia-clara, Unsplash

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