HSBC Group

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HSBC is one of the world's largest financial services companies, with an international network that still spans the globe, although several under-performing territories have been exited since 2011. Until the 1990s the group was best-known as Hong Kong's biggest financial institution, originally founded in the 19th century to finance trade between Asia and the West. But a string of acquisitions around the globe, starting with the UK's Midland Bank, transformed the business into arguably the world's most broadly based financial institution, with significant operations on every continent. Later purchases included US bank Republic New York, consumer finance lender Household International, CCF in France and Grupo Bital in Mexico, all absorbed into the main HSBC umbrella brand. Though less badly affected by the 2008 banking crisis than some competitors, the former Household operations in the US proved a massive drain on otherwise strong performance. A series of regulatory problems have led to other concerns, and the bank began pulling out of less profitable territories to refocus its attention on Asia and only more lucrative international markets.

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Who are the competitors of HSBC? See also Financial & Insurance Sector index for other companies

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Subscribers may access the following website links:

HSBC website


HSBC Personal Financial Services First Direct
HSBC Commercial Banking HSBC Corporate & Investment Banking
Hang Seng Bank HSBC Private Bank
HSBC Premier GM Credit Card
HFC Bank HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt
Beneficial Union Plus

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Apr 2017: HSBC completed its long search for a new marketing chief to succeed Chris Clark. It named Mondelez executive Leanne Cutts to the role. She was previously president for gum, candy & beverage at Mondelez Asia Pacific.

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Feb 2017: There were winners and losers among British banks, all reporting this week. The clear winners are Lloyds and Barclays. With the worst of their regulatory problems and PPI provisions now in the rear mirror, and their respective commercial banking businesses reaping the rewards of the post-Trump boom, both saw dramatic improvements in performance, at least on paper. Lloyds' statutory net profits more than doubled to £2.5bn, though total income slipped back to £17.3bn. Barclays did even better, with net profit soaring to £1.6bn, compared to a £394m loss in 2015, on revenues down slightly to £21.5bn. The biggest contributor to profitability in both cases was a sharp fall in provisions for conduct and litigation charges. By contrast, the losing side was represented by HSBC and RBS. Divestments and slowing growth in Hong Kong and the UK caused HSBC's revenues to fall to $59.84bn, their lowest level since 2004. Impairments, losses on those divestments and high tax charges prompted net profit to plunge by 77% to $3.45bn. RBS results are out tomorrow and are expected to show another huge loss, marking the struggling bank's 9th consecutive year in the red. A huge provision for mis-sold US mortgage securities resulted in a deficit of as much as £7bn.

Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Jan 2017: Come on J Walter Thompson, pull yourself together. The venerable WPP-owned agency suffered a grim week with the loss of multiple significant accounts, not least demotion from top billing to supporting player on the global HSBC account. Saatchi & Saatchi, already a roster player for the bank's sponsorship and other regional briefs, takes over as global agency of record for consumer banking. JWT is said to have held onto the UK retail business, while Grey retains the commercial and enterprise account.

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Aug 2015: HSBC announced plans to more or less exit South American banking with the sale of its substantial business in Brazil to local rival Bradesco for $5.2bn. It is one of the biggest developments so far in the group's new strategy to abandon less profitable global markets in favour of its long-established roots in Asia and a handful of major developed countries. Though HSBC will maintain an office in Brazil to represent international corporate clients, its only significant remaining local banking operation in Latin America will be in Mexico. The new strategy was supported by HSBC's 2Q results, which were significantly better than expected.

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jun 2015: Ads of the Week: "Tales From The Lift". Grey London's new ad for HSBC is excellent. It's a very clever way of telling the story of a single business over a 40-year span without resorting to all those old corporate cliches. As proof of the ad's magic, you'll be trying to work out what all the different relationships are between our central protagonist (with his impressive hair) and his various lift-mates. Fine fine work. Remember the days when Grey was "Grey by name, grey by nature"? That's a very long time ago. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jun 2015: HSBC added currency to rumours that it is considering an option to quit the UK retail banking market altogether. The group unveiled higher than expected cuts to its UK staffing levels as part of a plan to cut 50,000 staff worldwide over two years, and said it will close up to 12% of its branches. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the news that the bank plans to drop the HSBC brand for its UK retail network. A new name has yet to be decided - the bank will consult staff and customers - but this could involve either the resurrection of the old Midland Bank name, which formed the platform for the current UK network, or a widening of the First Direct phone and online service. The moves are part of HSBC's response to new regulations that call for the UK retail operations of major banks to be ring-fenced from their international business to avoid a repeat of a 2008-type financial crisis. HSBC plans to shift its focus away from Europe and the Americas and back to its core markets in Asia.

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