HSBC Holdings plc

THE SCOOP

The big one


HSBC Holdings is one of the largest financial services firms in the world. Headquartered in London, the global banking group has more than 256,000 employees throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. HSBC was established as the international and uniform brand name in order to better promote the banking group as a whole in 1999. However, with a truly international presence and established local presence in so many countries, HSBC took its internationalism a step further in 2002 by marketing itself as "the world's local bank," an approach that's still taken by the firm. In addition to being known throughout the world for its size, HSBC has also earned a reputation for being a well-run organisation. While many other large banking groups struggled in the midst of the worldwide financial crisis that began in 2007, HSBC remained relatively (though not completely) unscathed.

A storied history

HSBC's origins stretch back to the mid-19th Century, when Thomas Sutherland, the Hong Kong Superintendent of the Peninsular and the Oriental Steam Navigation Company identified a need for local banking branches both in Hong Kong and along the Chinese coast. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited was founded in 1865, and opened offices in both Shanghai and London. And, over the coming decades and then century, the bank opened branches throughout China, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, also further expanding in Europe and North America.

Almost a century into its existence, in 1959 the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquired the British Bank of the Middle East, which was originally known as the Imperial Bank of Persia and had a number of operations in the Gulf Arab states, as well as the Mercantile Bank, which had banking operations in India and South East Asia. In 1965, six years after purchasing the two banks, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation bought a controlling interest in the Hang Seng Bank, which had already been based in Hong Kong since 1933.

Through the rest of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the now banking giant continued its proven-successful strategy of moving into new markets. In 1981, it established the Hong Kong Bank of Canada, and in 1986, established the Hong Kong Bank of Australia. The following year in the USA, in 1987, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank holdings acquired the New York-based Marine Midland bank, further strengthening the massive group's US operations. By this point the group had a global constellation of operations which really needed to sit unified under one umbrella. In 1991, the international 'constellation' of banks and companies owned by Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank were brought together under the single ownership and control of the newly created umbrella banking holding company HSBC Holdings, under which business and operations have remained since.

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HSBC Holdings plc


8 Canada Square
London E14 5HQ
Phone: +44 (0)207 991 8888
www.hsbc.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: HSBA
  • Stock Exchange: LSE
  • Group Chief Executive: Stuart T. Gulliver
  • 2014 Employees: 256,089

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom

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