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HSBC has received approval to establish a retail branch network in Peru to further expand its Latin America franchise. The Superintendent of Banking and Insurance in Peru has authorised an initial network of 10 retail branches in Lima.  HSBC first entered the country in October of 2006 with the launch of its commercial banking division.

Latin America remains comparatively under-banked and Peru offers significant growth opportunities. It is the fifth most populous country in the region with a population of around 28 million, and GDP growth per capita is among the best performing in Latin America1 at nearly eight per cent last year2. Private sector borrowing in the country represents just 19 per cent of GDP, compared with 163 per cent in the UK3.

Emilson Alonso, who as CEO and President of HSBC Bank Brazil has strategic oversight responsibility for Peru, said: "We see strong growth potential in Peru and believe the relatively low level of financial services penetration there offers a solid platform for growth." He continued: "Today's announcement is a further example of HSBC's strategic emphasis on emerging markets and an important step in the development of our Latin America business."

In the past decade, HSBC has grown from having only 10 offices in Latin America to a regional network of over 4,000 which contributed around eight per cent of total Group profit before tax in 2006. HSBC is now the fourth largest financial services company in Mexico, among the top six in Brazil and Argentina, and following the acquisition of Grupo Banistmo the leading bank in Central America.

Media enquiries to Neil Brazil at 020 7992 1572 or

1. IMF Survey magazine, 19 September 2007
2. Pricewaterhouse Coopers
3. IMF data (2005)

Note to editors
HSBC Holdings plc

HSBC Holdings plc serves over 125 million customers worldwide through around 10,000 offices in 83 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of some US$2,150 billion at 30 June 2007, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the world's local bank'.

The HSBC Group in Latin America
HSBC has operated in Latin America since 1970. It is the fourth largest financial services company in Mexico, and among the top six banks in Brazil and Argentina. HSBC also operates in Chile, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, and has correspondent banking relationships with all the major banks in Latin America. With the acquisition of Grupo Banistmo in 2006, HSBC became the number one bank in Central America and Panama, among the leading banks in Honduras and El Salvador and has a strong position in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

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