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HSBC Holdings Plc. India, HK, UK – Commercial, Global, Retail and Private Banking & Wealth Management

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HSBC Holdings plc also known as HSBC commonly is a British multinational banking and financial services company. The company is headquartered in London, United Kingdom and is the world’s third-largest bank and sixth-largest public company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine (as of 2012).

It has around 7,200 offices in 85 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, and around 89 million customers. As of 31 March 2012, it had total assets of $2.637 trillion, of which roughly half were in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a quarter each in Asia-Pacific and the Americas.


HSBC Holdings plc was founded in London in 1991 by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to act as a new group holding company and to enable the acquisition of UK-based Midland Bank. The origins of the bank lie in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where branches were first opened in 1865. Today, HSBC remains the largest bank in Hong Kong, and recent expansion in mainland China, where it is now the largest international bank. HSBC has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

  • The Company has a market capitalization of £118.5 billion, the second-largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange as of December 7, 2012.
  • It has secondary listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (where it is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index), the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris and the Bermuda Stock Exchange.

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Divisions of HSBC

HSBC is a universal bank and is organized within four business groups:

  • Commercial banking
  • Global Banking and Markets (investment banking)
  • Retail Banking and Wealth Management and
  • Global Private Banking.

1. Commercial Banking

It provides financial services to small, medium-sized and middle-market enterprises. The group has more than 3 million such customers, including:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Partnerships
  • Clubs and associations
  • Incorporated businesses and
  • Publicly quoted companies.

2. Global Banking & Markets

It is the investment banking arm of HSBC and provides investment banking and financing solutions for corporate and institutional clients, including corporate banking, investment banking, capital markets, trade services, payments and cash management, and leveraged acquisition finance.

It provides services in equities, credit and rates, foreign exchange, money markets and securities services, in addition to asset management services. Global Banking and Markets has offices in more than 60 countries and territories worldwide, and describes itself as “emerging markets-led and financing-focused”.

3. Global Private Banking

HSBC Private Bank is the marketing name for the private banking business conducted by the principal private banking subsidiaries of the HSBC Group worldwide. HSBC Private Bank, together with the private banking activities of HSBC Trinkaus, known collectively as Group Private Banking, provides services to high net worth individuals and their families through 93 locations in some 42 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.

As of December 2007, profits before tax were US$1,511 million and combined client assets under management were US$494 billion. In September 2008, HSBC announced that it would combine its two Swiss private banks under one brand name in 2009, with HSBC Guyerzeller and HSBC Private Bank to be merged into one legal entity, under the newly appointed CEO of HSBC Private Bank, Alexandre Zeller.

4. Retail Banking and Wealth Management

HSBC provides more than 100 million customers worldwide, with a full range of personal financial services, including current and savings accounts, mortgage, car financing, insurance, credit cards, loans, pensions and investments. Retail Banking and Wealth Management was previously referred to as Personal Financial Services.

Recent News

  • As per a newspaper report dated 7th Dec 2012, HSBC is likely to pay over 1.5 billion dollars in fines to US authorities.
  • The fine is imposed to settle money-laundering investigations into its business.
  • HSBC had put aside 1.5 billion dollars to meet the cost of the fines, but admitted at its latest results presentation that the eventual penalty could be “significantly higher” and that it could face criminal charges.
  • The fines relate to an investigation of HSBC’s US and Mexican operations, that found the bank had allegedly ignored warnings that billions of dollars of funds were being moved between the two subsidiaries and were linked to drug trafficking.

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Niraj Satnalika

Niraj is an MBA in International Business (Finance). Prior to this he completed B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. He is currently working with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kolkata in capacity of Consultant. Satnalika is actively involved with an NGO and works towards promoting education among the underprivileged.

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