Investor FAQs

This section provides answers to commonly asked questions on shareholding, financial reporting, dividends and taxation.

HSBC shares and shareholding

Since 2 July 1999 HSBC Holdings has issued one class of ordinary shares of USD0.50. The shares are listed through a primary share listing on the UK’s London Stock Exchange and branch listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Bermuda Stock Exchange. The shares are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Only shareholders who are resident in the Hong Kong SAR can hold shares on the Hong Kong register. The New York Stock Exchange listing is through an American Depository Receipt (ADR) programme, for US-based shareholders, under which each American Depository Share (ADS) represents five ordinary USD0.50 shares.

The codes below can be used to identify HSBC’s shares on different stock markets.

UK: HSBA
Hong Kong: 5
ADR: HSBC
Bermuda: HSBC.BH
ISIN GB0005405286
ADR CUSIP 404280406

Any enquiries relating to shareholdings on the share register should be sent to the Registrars. You can find contact details for them and our investor relations team on the investor contacts page. The Registrars offer an online facility, Investor Centre, which enables shareholders to manage their shareholding electronically.

In November 2002, HSBC agreed to exchange each Household International share for 2.675 HSBC Holdings plc ordinary USD0.50 shares or 0.535 HSBC American Depositary Shares. For further details and assistance with exchanging your Household International stock, please contact:

Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
Corporate Actions Dept
250 Royall Street
Canton, MA 02021
United States
Telephone: +1 866 299-4242

HSBC implemented share buy-back programmes between 2016-2019, the details of which can be found in the relevant years’ Annual Reports. On 18 February 2020, as part of the 2019 Annual Results release, HSBC announced that it planned to suspend share buy-backs for 2020 and 2021, given the high level of restructuring expected to be undertaken over this period.

HSBC holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London each year, usually in 2Q. Go to the events and presentations page to check if the date of the next AGM has been formally announced and to see notices from previous meetings and information about previous AGMs.

Under Article 53.1 of HSBC’s Articles of Association (available on our website at www.hsbc.com/who-we-are/leadership-and-governance/board-responsibilities) a general meeting, other than an annual general meeting (‘AGM’), shall be convened if requisitioned by shareholders as provided by the UK Companies Act 2006 (the ‘Act’).

Under section 303 of the Act, the directors are required to call a general meeting (other than an AGM) once the company has received valid requests to do so (made in compliance with section 303 of the Act) from members representing at least 5 per cent of such of the paid-up capital of the company as carries the right of voting at general meetings of the company (excluding any treasury shares). Members for these purposes means holders of shares whose names are on the legal register of members of the company.

Such members may also include in their requests to call a general meeting the text of a resolution that “may properly be moved” at the meeting. Under the Act, a resolution would not satisfy the requirement of “properly be moved” (and therefore the directors would not be obliged to put it to the meeting) if the resolution (i) would, if passed, be ineffective (whether by reason of inconsistency with any enactment or the company's articles or otherwise); (ii) is defamatory of any person; or (iii) is frivolous or vexatious.

Shareholders should note that, under English law, the requirements for requesting the directors to call a general meeting and including the text of a resolution to be moved at that meeting are different from the requirements for shareholders to request a resolution to be considered at an AGM.

In order to request a company to send a resolution to shareholders for consideration at an AGM, a valid request (made in compliance with sections 153 and 338 of the Act) must be made by (i) members representing at least 5 per cent of the total voting rights of all members who have a right to vote on the resolution at the AGM in question (excluding any treasury shares), or (ii) at least 100 members who have a right to vote on the resolution at the AGM in question and hold shares in the company on which there has been paid up an average sum, per member, of at least GBP100. This is set out in section 338 of the Act. The request must be received by the company not later than (i) 6 weeks before the AGM in question; or (ii) if later, the time at which the notice of AGM is published.

There are various additional requirements for shareholders to be able to requisition a general meeting. Shareholders should refer to the Articles of Association and the Act for further information.

HSBC financial reporting

HSBC’s financial year is the calendar year up to and including 31 December. Annual results are usually announced at the end of February or early in March of the following year. In addition, HSBC reports interim results for the six months to 30 June each year, which are usually announced towards the end of July or early in August. Quarterly updates are provided for the first and third quarters.

HSBC’s results presentations are available via a webcast. Details of how to register for the next webcast will appear on our website about one to two weeks before the results announcement.

Archive versions of HSBC’s results webcasts are also available shortly after the live webcast for 12 months. These can be found on the Group reporting archive page.

HSBC uses the US dollar as its reporting currency because the majority of our business activities are conducted in the US dollar or currencies linked to the dollar.

HSBC’s independent auditor is PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Please refer to HSBC’s most recent annual report and accounts or interim report for the latest independent auditor’s report or independent review respectively.

Dividends

Dividends are declared in US dollars, and at the election of the shareholder, paid in cash in one of, or in a combination of, US dollars, UK pounds sterling or Hong Kong dollars.

If your shares are recorded on the UK Principal Register, you will automatically receive any dividends payable to you in cash in sterling, unless you have previously elected to receive payment in US dollars or Hong Kong dollars. However if your address is in the United States, you will automatically receive any dividends payable to you in cash in US dollars, unless you currently receive payment in one of the other currencies, or make an election to do so.

If your shares are recorded on the Hong Kong Overseas Branch Register, you will automatically receive any dividends payable to you in cash in Hong Kong dollars, unless you have previously elected to receive payment in US dollars or sterling.

If your shares are recorded on the Bermuda Overseas Branch Register, you will automatically receive any dividends payable to you in cash in US dollars, unless you have previously elected to receive payment in Hong Kong dollars or sterling.

Once determined, the exchange rates are announced to the London, Hong Kong, New York and Bermuda stock exchanges.

For more details on the timing and determination of the exchange rates in respect of HSBC’s most recently declared dividend, please refer to the dividend history page.

Up to the third interim dividend 2019, the Board of HSBC Holdings plc offered holders of Ordinary Shares the right to elect to receive new Ordinary Shares instead of a cash dividend (‘scrip dividend alternative’). Please refer to the scrip dividend page.

As announced on 23 February 2021 the Group has decided to discontinue the scrip dividend option as it is dilutive, including to dividend per share progression over time.

Please refer to the dividend history page for details of historic HSBC dividends.

Any enquiries relating to the non-receipt of your dividend entitlement advice or dividend payment should be directed to the Registrars. For appropriate contact details, please refer to the investor contacts page.

Taxation

Please refer to the Shareholder Information section of the current HSBC Holdings plc’s Annual Report and Accounts. For specific circumstances and if in doubt, you should refer to your financial or professional adviser.

Please refer to the Shareholder Information section of the current HSBC Holdings plc’s Annual Report and Accounts. For specific circumstances and if in doubt, you should refer to your financial or professional adviser.

Manage your shareholding

Yes. To register for electronic communications you will need your shareholder reference number, which can be found on your share certificate, dividend tax vouchers, and other shareholder communications. You will also need to agree to our Registrars’ terms and conditions. Once registered, we will email you each time a new document is made available.

Email addresses will not be used for any purpose other than communicating with you as a shareholder.

You may revoke your registration or request a printed copy of any shareholder communication from the Registrars at any time. Printed copies will be provided without charge.

Currently, the following shareholder communications are available electronically:

  • Annual Report and Accounts
  • Strategic Report
  • Interim Report
  • Notices of shareholder meetings
  • Notifications of your dividend entitlement

By deciding to receive corporate communications electronically, we reduce our impact on the environment and save printing and mailing costs for the benefit of all shareholders.

Please go to the Manage your shareholding page to register for electronic communications and for more information.

If you do not provide us with an email address, we will notify you by post when shareholder notices, documents or information become available on this website. The Annual Report and Accounts, Strategic Report, Interim Report and Notices of shareholders’ meetings are all made available on this site. You can request a hard copy of a particular notice, document or information at any time.

Yes. If you have provided an email address to receive electronic communications from HSBC we will also send you notifications of your dividend entitlements by email.

The Registrars offer an online facility, Investor Centre, which enables shareholders to manage their shareholding electronically. Please go to the manage your shareholding page for more information.

You can find information about to protect yourself online, types of online attacks and how to encrypt your email in our online security section.

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