30 July 2020

Enabling the roll-out of client’s COVID-19 relief fund

Establishing a new interim regional payment process to enable Accor to pay-out from its special assistance fund when it was needed the most.

Singapore is currently base for more than 7,000 multinational businesses and 50% of Regional Headquarters (RHQ) in Asia, including Accor S.A. - a French hospitality company that owns, manages and franchises hotels, resorts and vacation properties. Accor is the largest hospitality company in Europe and the sixth largest worldwide.

Amidst the initial outbreak of COVID-19, Accor and HSBC partnered to support the hotel group’s communities.

Accor’s Asia Pacific RHQ is based in Singapore and oversees more than 1,200 hotels and resorts across 21 countries. From Singapore, Accor banks with HSBC across the region. The hospitality industry has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, affecting many livelihoods. In response, Accor established the ALL Heartist Fund, a EUR70m fund devoted to helping the Group’s employees, individual partners and frontliners affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Accor had decided to utilise part of the ALL Heartist Fund to make goodwill payments to help their team members with accommodation and exigencies, where staff livelihoods were immediately impacted by the lockdown.

Accor was keen to ensure the payments were made quickly to assist team members when they needed it most. HSBC’s challenge was to create a best-fit interim payment solution to manage and process the payments centrally from Singapore to allow the urgent roll-out of funds across all of Accor’s Asia Pacific markets.

The challenge of creating a system in such a short timeframe to manage such a volume of payments is unusual, and was compounded by inconsistencies in information and the need for end-to-end tracking of payments all the way through to the post-payment processing stage.

HSBC quickly established a new interim regional payments system, supplemented by daily payments monitoring routine, ensuring timely payment release from our payment screening systems, tracing and investigation of any delayed payments or other payment issues.

HSBC’s solution has allowed Accor to deliver over 12,000 payments across its Asia Pacific markets, with more to follow, enabling it to make payments to those that mattered when it was most needed.

Lily Mulyani, Director of Corporate Finance, Asia Pacific, Accor: “I am so thankful that I am working with HSBC team on this initiative. The team has been very supportive from the start and has worked very closely with me to make this critical initiative a success. Already we have been able to process thousands of payments to team members who urgently needed support.”

Olivier Baroux, Senior Vice President Corporate Finance, Asia Pacific, Accor: “I would like to thank again HSBC Singapore team for their amazing contribution to this solidarity initiative. By responding efficiently and practically, they have helped us to implement all necessary procedures in a timely and smooth manner. It has really been a fantastic team work!”

Priya Kini, Head of Global Banking, HSBC Singapore: “Like many businesses, Accor was in need of banking support under significant time pressure. HSBC’s network was able to serve them when they needed. We are proud to have designed a solution which has enabled Accor to support its community during this challenging period.”