HSBC Bank, which dubs itself the "world's local bank," is a London-based financial institution whose many services include commercial banking, investment banking, online banking and wealth management for high-net-worth clients. With roughly 8,000 offices in 88 nations and territories, HSBC provides services to companies with international clients, businesses with local customers and markets in developing countries. The bank has approximately 220,000 shareholders.
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HSBC traces its roots back to 1865, when the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited was formed to provide financial backing for increased commerce between Europe and Asia. It rose to become the most prominent bank in Asia.
HSBC increased its worldwide footprint through acquisitions in the United States and South America.
Recession's Impact on HSBC
Despite the collapse of the financial markets in 2007, HSBC stayed profitable. But the bank's net income of £4.22 billion in 2008 represented a nearly 70 per cent drop from £13.3 billion in 2007. Bank revenues dropped to £89.2 billion for the year ending Dec. 31, 2008 compared with £94.5 billion the prior year.
Performance Expectations Amid Poor Economic Conditions
HSBC expects poor economic conditions to negatively effect the company's earnings. According to the bank's 2009 annual report, continued sluggishness in the economy could slow demand from creditworthy clients, hurt the bank's power to borrow from other banks and affect the capacity for HSBC clients to repay loans. The bank also expects new financial oversight regulations to create difficulties for HSBC. Bank officials said revenues could decline due to political and economic upheaval in the countries in which it operates. However, the bank believes that growing markets in developing countries will help HSBC recover from the economic downturn.
HSBC has won numerous awards from publications across the world, including the Best Consumer Internet Bank -- Global award in November 2006 from Global Finance magazine and the Best Emerging Markets Bank award in July 2008 from Euromoney, a United Kingdom publication focusing on banking and finance.
Climate Change Initiative
In 2007, the bank teamed up with four environmental organisations to form a £65 million initiative designed to help combat the negative effects of climate change. HSBC, along with groups including the Earthwatch Institute and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, created the alliance to fund environmental research and educate HSBC employees about climate change issues. As part of the program, HSBC employees collect data and conduct research with scientists.
HSBC stock is traded worldwide. The bank's shares are traded on the stock exchanges in London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Bermuda.
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