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History wall

The History Wall was developed for HSBC's new headquarters in Canary Wharf in London. Through 3,743 images, the History Wall captures HSBC's rich and fascinating pedigree reflecting the geographical and chronological sweep of its history. The images on the wall were nearly all sourced from HSBC's own archives, and the wall itself was designed by the award-winning Heatherwick Studio.

Unveiling

The HSBC History Wall captures the geographical and chronological sweep of HSBC's heritage, and is an eye-catching centrepiece at HSBC's head office.

Kolkata, 1958

The Kolkata offices of the Mercantile Bank from a photograph of 1958. The Mercantile Bank's history in India stretches back to 1853, and it became part of HSBC in 1959.

Bankers at play, 1890s

Cartoon from the sketch book of a London bank clerk showing bankers enjoying a game of tennis in the 1890s.

Seals and signature

Seals and signatures from a banking amalgamation agreement of 1893. Through a series of these amalgamations, HSBC Bank plc in the UK transformed itself from a regional bank to the biggest bank in the world.

Early computer

One of the earliest mainframe computers used by HSBC in the UK in the early 1960s.

Signature book

A page from a 1913 register of signatures of customers at the Shanghai branch of HSBC.

Paris, 1994

The Paris head office of HSBC France decorated for its centenary in 1994.

Sir Boshan Wei Yuk

Portrait of Sir Boshan Wei Yuk, a senior Chinese member of staff of the Chartered Mercantile Bank which later became part of HSBC.

Vietnam, 1920

Staff of the Ho Chi Minh City branch of HSBC in Vietnam pose for their official photograph in 1920.

Women at work

International Women's Day celebrated its 100th birthday on 8 March 2011, and HSBC was proud to present its own online gallery celebrating a century of change for women to mark the occasion.

From the pioneering first women staff of the early years of the 20th century to the women in senior management a century later, we look back at some of the milestones along the way.

Annie Tulloch, 1907

Annie Tulloch was the first female member of staff of HSBC in the UK, joining the bank in 1907. She was initially employed as a translator, but with the rising numbers of 'lady clerks' in the First World War she was promoted to Lady Staff Superintendent.

UK, Eastbourne staff, 1917

Many men left HSBC during the First World War to fight for their countries, and the bank recruited women to fill the gaps. By the end of the war, many HSBC branches had at least one woman on their staff. This photograph of 1917 shows the staff of Eastbourne branch in the UK, which could boast six women employees.

Women machine operators, 1920s

The introduction of mechanised accounting machines in the 1920s required a new generation of women recruits to operate the machines. From this decade forward, women began to be employed in large numbers in back-office functions.

Jakarta branch staff, 1923

A solitary woman graces the branch staff photo of the Jakarta branch of HSBC in 1923. The HSBC branches in South-East Asia had begun employing women in the early years of the 20th century, but these early women were usually secretaries and typists.

Training new women staff, 1940s

During World War Two, many HSBC branches worldwide were dependent on women staff to keep the business running. This photograph shows new women staff at a training session in the 1940s.

1950s recruitment literature

Recruitment of women stepped up in the 1950s and 1960s – partly to work in the new computer centres. This recruitment literature is from one of HSBC's businesses in the USA.

First UK female branch manager

History was made in the UK in 1973 when HSBC Bank plc appointed its first female branch manager. Elizabeth Cole became manager of Deal branch in this year – the first of many who followed in her footsteps.

Bangkok staff, 1994

By the 1990s, women were offered equal opportunities throughout HSBC with the first woman appointed to the International Manager ranks in 1987. This photo of the Bangkok branch in 1994 shows many women staff in action.

A perfect match

Sport has long been an important part of life in HSBC, and 'A perfect match' celebrates our rich sporting heritage. Our exhibition uses objects, images and photographs from the archives to showcase the diversity of sporting achievements and endeavours around the world from track and field, to rugby pitches and cricket tours, to the waterfront and beyond.

1902 rugby

The 1902 rugby team of the London office of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. P G Wodehouse, the comic author and creator of Jeeves and Wooster, is sitting second from right in the second row. Wodehouse spent two years working in the London office of the bank before deciding to try his hand as a writer.

Colombo basketball team

The only photograph that survives in the archives of an HSBC basketball team. This team played for the Colombo branch of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Sri Lanka in the late 1950s and features a youthful Willie Purves, who would later become one of HSBC's most successful chairmen.

Table tennis in Japan

Photograph of the players in a local derby match in Japan. The table tennis teams of Osaka and Kobe branches of HSBC played each other in 1955 – we don't know which team won, but we are sure it was a closely fought contest.

Tennis club, 1960

The Midland Bank (now HSBC Bank plc) tennis club enjoys having their photo taken in a relaxed shot from 1960.

Hong Kong oarsmen

Rowing was a popular sport in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, and this photograph, dating from a regatta of the 1930s, shows an HSBC rowing four powering their way through the waters of Hong Kong.

Cricket trophy

Cricket trophy awarded by Midland Bank, now HSBC Bank plc. Midland's cricket club has a long pedigree stretching back to its founding in 1870, and it is still going strong today.

1970s football team

Football team of Midland Bank (now HSBC Bank plc) from the 1970s. In the 1975-76 season, the bank achieved an unrivalled distinction when all of its seven teams in the Southern Amateur League won their respective divisions.

Howzat!

A wicket falls at a cricket match at the New Beckenham sports ground in 1963. HSBC has been playing sports at its New Beckenham ground since the 1890s, and it continues to be a centre for sporting effort and achievement.

More about HSBC’s history

The HSBC Group: Our story
The HSBC Group: Our story

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

Download ‘The HSBC Group: Our story’

HSBC’s history in France

Learn about the combined heritage and history of the banks that comprise HSBC France.

The history and heritage of HSBC in France

HSBC’s history in Asia-Pacific

HSBC has a long and rich history in Asia – providing banking services to governments, companies and individuals.

The bank’s history and archive collection in the Asia-Pacific region