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Building on our foundations

HSBC’s current strategy and plans for the future are informed by our long history.

Birmingham heritage

Our new UK ring-fenced bank will be based in Birmingham, the city where Midland Bank (which HSBC acquired in 1992) was founded. This trowel was used to lay the foundations of the head office built there in 1867.

Pearl River Delta

HSBC is investing for growth in the Pearl River Delta, southern China. The bank's history in the area goes back more than a century. In 1907 we issued bonds to finance the first railway link between Kowloon and Guangzhou.

Opportunities in South-East Asia

HSBC started life as a South-East Asian trade bank. The Singapore branch, established in 1877, quickly became a key part of our network. This photograph shows the main HSBC Singapore office in the early 20th century.

Connecting China

Since our early days we have helped China do business with the wider world. The photograph shows the opening of a new office in the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen in 1988.

Setting the standard

In 1875 we asked a senior member of staff to visit each branch to inspect and audit all the accounts. These early branch inspection reports survive in the HSBC archives to this day.

North America

The US has been a key link in our network since we opened for business in 1865. Our San Francisco office financed trade across the Pacific and helped many overseas Chinese to send money home to their families. The photograph shows a city dock in the 1870s.

More about HSBC’s history

The HSBC Group: Our story

How a local bank in Hong Kong grew into a global financial institution.

Frequently asked questions

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