Our strategy

Connecting customers to opportunities for more than 150 years

International network

HSBC is one of the world’s leading international banks, with exceptional access to high-growth markets and a strong balance sheet. Our strategy builds on these advantages and positions us to capitalise on long-term trends affecting the financial services industry.

Our four global businesses serve more than 39 million customers worldwide in both established and faster-growing markets. They range from individuals and families to major multinational corporations.

Throughout our history we have been where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities. We enable businesses to thrive and economies to prosper, helping people fulfil their hopes and realise their ambitions. We see this as our role and purpose – and it remains crucial in light of long-term, global trends affecting our industry:

HSBC voted top for trade finance

The bank has won recognition for helping customers do business across borders.


  • International flows of trade, finance and data are expected to continue to grow as the world grows more connected(i)
  • The global middle classes are set to expand further, led by Asia(ii)
  • Significant investment will be needed worldwide to support the transition to a low-carbon economy(iii)

These long-term trends reinforce our strategic advantages as a leading international bank. More than 50 per cent of the Group’s client revenue is linked to international clients. Our access to high-growth, developing markets in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America gives us a platform for long-term growth. And our balance sheet strength continues to provide an excellent foundation for a sustained dividend.

Strategic priorities

In June 2018, after a period of significant transformation for the bank, we set out a series of strategic priorities to deliver growth, improve returns, empower our people, and enhance our customer experience. We aim to:

  1. Accelerate growth from our Asian businesses, and be the leading bank to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and the China-led Belt and Road Initiative
  2. Complete the establishment of our UK ring-fenced bank and increase market share
  3. Gain market share and deliver growth from our international network
  4. Turn around our US business
  5. Improve capital efficiency
  6. Create the capacity for increasing investments in growth and technology through efficiency gains
  7. Improve our customer service
  8. Simplify the organisation and invest in future skills

Read the latest update about progress on our strategic priorities.

Alongside these eight strategic priorities we set out updated financial targets. These include:

  • Delivering a return on tangible equity (RoTE) of greater than 11 per cent by 2020
  • Achieving positive adjusted jaws on an annual basis; this means growing adjusted revenue faster than adjusted costs
  • Sustaining the dividend at current levels and undertaking, as appropriate, share buybacks subject to regulatory approval

We report on progress towards our financial targets in the regular updates we provide on our financial performance.

Notes
i. Source: Oxford Economics
ii. Source: Brookings, A Global Tipping Point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier (2018)
iii. Source: OECD, Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth (2017); BP, Statistical Review of World Energy; HSBC analysis

More on our strategy

Progress on our strategic priorities

Find the latest information on the actions we are taking to deliver our strategic priorities.

The value of our network

Our network of businesses covers the world’s largest and fastest growing trade corridors and economic zones.

Our values

We want to grow our business in the right way. Our values underpin our strategy, decisions and day-to-day work.

Read more

News and insight

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