Company history

HSBC was born from one simple idea – a local bank serving international needs. In March 1865, HSBC opened its doors for business in Hong Kong, and today we serve around 52 million customers in 74 countries and territories.

The experiences of the past 149 years have formed the character of HSBC. A glance at our history explains why we believe in capital strength, in strict cost control and in building long-term relationships with customers. HSBC has weathered change in all forms – revolutions, economic crises, new technologies – and adapted to survive. The resulting corporate character enables HSBC to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

More about HSBC’s history

HSBC's history

How a local bank in Hong Kong grew into one of the world's biggest financial institutions.

HSBC's archives

Our archives reflect the bank's long and eventful history. Find out what's in the collections and how to access them.

Online gallery

View the latest display of historic photographs from our company archives.

Frequently asked questions

Learn about the founding of HSBC, the significance of the lions and the origins of our iconic hexagon logo.