Funny how old work comes back around…
I have read up on HSBC before as well as connections to that Sutherland name. Here is what Wiki says about them first.
HSBC Holdings plc (commonly known as HSBC) is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. As of 2011 it was the world’s second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine.
HSBC is a universal bank and is organised within four business groups: Commercial Banking; Global Banking and Markets (investment banking); Retail Banking and Wealth Management (retail banking and consumer finance); and Global Private Banking It has around 7,200 offices in 85 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America and around 89 million customers. As of 31 March 2012, it had total assets of $2.637 trillion, of which roughly half were in Europe, a quarter in the Americas and a quarter in Asia.
HSBC Holdings plc was founded in London in 1991 by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to act as a new group holding company and to enable the acquisition of UK-based Midland Bank. The origins of the bank lie in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where branches were first opened in 1865. Today, HSBC remains the largest bank in Hong Kong, and recent expansion in mainland China, where it is now the largest international bank, has returned it to that part of its roots.
HSBC has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 6 July 2012 it had a market capitalisation of £102.7 billion, the second-largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has secondary listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (where it is a constituent of the Hang Seng Index), the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris and the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
The HSBC Building in Shanghai, the headquarters of the Shanghai branch of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation from 1923 to 1955
HSBC (abbreviation origin: the “Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation“) was founded in the former British colony of Hong Kong (on 3 March 1865) and Shanghai (one month later) by Scotsman Sir Thomas Sutherland (1834–1922). HSBC Holdings plc established in 1990 became the parent company to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in preparation for its purchase of Midland Bank in the United Kingdom and restructuring of ownership domicile for the impending transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to China. HSBC Holdings acquisition of Midland Bank gave HSBC Group a substantial market presence in the United Kingdom which was completed in 1992. As part of the takeover conditions for the purchase of Midland Bank, HSBC Holdings plc was required to relocate its world headquarters from Hong Kong to London in 1993.
Major acquisitions in South America started with the purchase of the Banco Bamerindus of Brazil for $1bn in March 1997] and the acquisition of Roberts SA de Inversiones of Argentina for $600m in May 1997.
In 1980, HSBC acquired a 51% shareholding in Marine Midland Bank, which it extended to full ownership in 1987. In May 1999, HSBC continued its US acquisitions with the purchase of Republic National Bank of New York for $10.3bn.
Expansion into Continental Europe took place in April 2000 with the acquisition of Crédit Commercial de France, a large French bank for £6.6bn. In July 2001 HSBC bought Demirbank, an insolvent Turkish bank. In July 2002, Arthur Andersen announced that HSBC USA, Inc., through a new subsidiary, Wealth and Tax Advisory Services USA Inc. (WTAS), would purchase a portion of Andersen’s tax practice. The new HSBC Private Client Services Group would serve the wealth and tax advisory needs of high net worth individuals. Then in August 2002 HSBC acquired Grupo Financiero Bital, SA de CV, Mexico’s third largest retail bank for $1.1bn.In November 2002 HSBC expanded further in the United States. Under the chairmanship of Sir John Bond, it spent £9 billion (US$15.5 billion) to acquire Household Finance Corporation (HFC), a US credit card issuer and subprime lender. In a 2003 cover story, The Banker noted “when banking historians look back, they may conclude that [it] was the deal of the first decade of the 21st century”. Under the new name of HSBC Finance, the division was the second largest subprime lender in the US.
The new headquarters of HSBC Holdings at 8 Canada Square, London officially opened in April 2003.
In September 2003 HSBC bought Polski Kredyt Bank SA of Poland for $7.8m. In June 2004 HSBC expanded into China buying 19.9% of the Bank of Communications of Shanghai. In the United Kingdom HSBC acquired Marks & Spencer Retail Financial Services Holdings Ltd for £763m in December 2004. Acquisitions in 2005 included Metris Inc, a US credit card issuer for $1.6bn in August and 70.1% of Dar es Salaam Investment Bank of Iraq in October. In April 2006 HSBC bought the 90 branches in Argentina of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro for $155m. In December 2007 HSBC acquired The Chinese Bank in Taiwan. In May 2008 HSBC acquired IL&FS Investment, an Indian retail broking firm.
In March 2009, HSBC announced that it would shut down the branch network of its HSBC Finance arm in the U.S., leading to nearly 6,000 job losses and leaving only the credit card business to continue operating. Chairman Stephen Green stated, “HSBC has a reputation for telling it as it is. With the benefit of hindsight, this is an acquisition we wish we had not undertaken.” According to analyst Colin Morton, “the takeover was an absolute disaster”.
Although it was at the centre of the subprime storm, the wider group has weathered the financial crisis of 2007–2010 better than other global banks. According to Bloomberg, “HSBC is one of world’s strongest banks by some measures”. When HM Treasury required all UK banks to increase their capital in October 2007, the group transferred £750 million to London within hours, and announced that it had just lent £4 billion to other UK banks. In March 2009, it announced that it had made US$9.3bn of profit in 2008 and announced a £12.5bn (US$17.7bn; HK$138bn) rights issue to enable it to buy other banks that were struggling to survive. However, uncertainty over the rights’ issue’s implications for institutional investors caused volatility in the Hong Kong stock market: on 9 March 2009 HSBC’s share price fell 24.14%, with 12 million shares sold in the last few seconds of trading.
More at link above.