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Key events in the growth of the HSBC Group

The HSBC Group evolved from The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which was founded in 1865 in Hong Kong with offices in Shanghai and London and an agency in San Francisco. The Group expanded primarily through offices established in the bank's name until the mid-1950s when it began to create or acquire subsidiaries. The following are some key developments in the Group's growth since 1959.

1959
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquires The British Bank of the Middle East (formerly the Imperial Bank of Persia, now called HSBC Bank Middle East).
1965
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquires a majority shareholding in Hang Seng Bank Limited, now the second-largest bank incorporated in Hong Kong.
1967
Midland Bank purchases a one-third share in the parent of London merchant bank Samuel Montagu & Co.Limited (now HSBC Republic Bank (UK) Limited).
1972
Midland Bank acquires a shareholding in UBAF Bank Limited (now known as British Arab Commercial Bank Limited).
1978
The Saudi British Bank is established under local control to take over The British Bank of the Middle East's branches in Saudi Arabia.
1980
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquires 51% of New York State's Marine Midland Bank, N.A. (now called HSBC Bank USA). Midland acquires a controlling interest in leading German private bank Trinkaus & Burkhardt KGaA (now HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt KGaA).
1981
Hongkong Bank of Canada (now HSBC Bank Canada) is established in Vancouver. The Group acquires a controlling interest in Equator Holdings Limited, a merchant bank engaged in trade finance in sub-Saharan Africa.
1982
Egyptian British Bank S.A.E. is formed, with the Group holding as 40% interest.
1983
Marine Midland Bank acquires Carroll McEntee & McGinley (now HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.), a New York-based primary dealer in US government securities.
1986
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation establishes HongkongBank of Australia Limited (now HSBC Bank Australia Limited).
1987
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation acquires the remaining shares of Marine Midland and a 14.9% equity interest in Midland Bank plc (now HSBC Bank plc).
1991
HSBC Holdings is established; its shares are traded on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
1992
HSBC Holdings purchases the remaining equity in Midland Bank.
1993
The HSBC Group's Head Office moves to London.
1994
HongKong Bank Malaysia Berhad (now HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad) is formed.
1997
The Group establishes a new subsidiary in Brazil, Banco HSBC Bamerindus S.A. (now HSBC Bank Brasil S.A.-Banko Multiplo), and acquires Roberts S.A. de Inversiones in Argentina (now HSBC Argentina Holdings S.A.).
1999
Shares in HSBC Holdings begin trading on a third stock exchange, New York. HSBC acquires Republic New York Corporation (now integrated with HSBC USA Inc.) and its sister company Safra Republic Holdings S.A. (now HSBC Republic Holdings (Luxembourg) S.A.). Midland Bank acquires a 70.03% interest in Mid-Med Bank p.l.c.(now HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.), Malta's largest commercial bank.
2000
HSBC acquires CCF, one of France's largest banks. Shares in HSBC Holdings are listed on a fourth stock exchange, in Paris. The Group increases its shareholding in Egyptian British Bank to over 90% and later renames it HSBC Bank Egypt S.A.E.
2001
HSBC acquires Demirbank TAS, Turkey's fifth largest private bank; and signs an agreement to purchase an 8% stake in Bank of Shanghai.
2002
HSBC acquires Benkar Tuketici Finansmani ve Kart Hizmetleri A.S., a leading provider of consumer finance in Turkey; and Grupo Financiero Bital S.A. de C.V., one of Mexico's largest financial services groupsand a 10% interest in Ping An Insurance Company of China Limited, the second largest life insurance operation in China.
2004
HSBC grew organically and through strategic acquisitions in 2004.

The Bank of Bermuda joined the Group in February and minority stakes were acquired in India’s UTI Bank and China’s Bank of Communications Ltd. In the UK, HSBC bought the retail financial services arm of the Marks and Spencer Group.

The HSBC brand was adopted by its Mexican subsidiary, G F Bital, early in the year and in September the majority of the bank’s North American businesses, including Household International, were united under the name HSBC North America.

HSBC continued its long-standing commitment to the environment, becoming a founder member of the Climate Group in April and announcing its intention in December to become the first major bank to go carbon neutral.
2005
In 2005, HSBC marked 140 years in China by increasing its stake in the country.

The Group opened new branches in Chongqing and Chengdu in the west of the country and in March became the first foreign bank to provide local currency services from its branch in Beijing.

HSBC began selling insurance through Ping An Insurance, China’s second largest life insurer, and increased its stake in the company to 19.9%. In November, HSBC was the title sponsor of the inaugural HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai.

In the Middle East, HSBC reopened its branch in Kuwait, while in the US, the integration of Household International with the Group’s North American operations was completed, under the name ‘HSBC Finance Corporation’.

HSBC continued to tackle the issues of climate change, and reducing the social and environmental impact of its operations. In October, it became the first major bank to go carbon neutral, and in May and August, published sector guidelines governing its activities in the freshwater infrastructure and chemicals industries.

In 2005, HSBC published the world’s most comprehensive survey of global attitudes to ageing and retirement, while in November, Sir John Bond, HSBC Chairman since 1988, announced he is to retire in May 2006.
2006
2006 was a year of development and change for HSBC.

Strategic acquisitions throughout the year increased market share and customer numbers especially in the Americas. In February HSBC Latin America Holdings (UK) Limited entered an agreement to acquire the majority of Lloyds TSB’s branch assets in Paraguay, and this was quickly followed by the acquisition in March of a stake in Financiera Independencia - one of Mexico’s leading companies in the sub-prime consumer loans market with over 100 offices throughout the country. In November, the bank entered fresh pastures with the purchase of Grupo Banistmo. This banking group, based in Panama, gave the bank access to the markets of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua for the first time in its history.

HSBC continued to focus on the development of its personal financial services business in Asia especially in China where the bank was able to offer a new RMB deposit service to domestic customers. Business customers also benefited with the launch of the International Business Centres which facilitate SMEs around the world with their cross border trading.

Climate change and environmental issues remained important to HSBC during the year. Eight thousand bins were removed from HSBC’s head office in June as part of the programme to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 8% by the end of 2007. In June HSBC signed up to the UN principles for responsible investment and was also named the winner in the first FT Sustainable Banking Awards.

In May HSBC bid farewell to Sir John Bond, and welcomed Stephen Green as Group Chairman.
2007
2007 was a year of challenges for HSBC.

The weakness in the American property market affected its US subsidiary, HSBC Finance Corporation, and in February the bank issued a trading statement to warn investors about the impact of bad debts. Many other banks follow suit and by the end of the year HSBC is winning plaudits for its early announcement and prudent handling of the situation. In a strategic review of its consumer and mortgage lending businesses, the bank announces the closure of Decision One, its sub-prime mortgage loans wholesale channel.


Elsewhere, HSBC continues to expand its business in key markets and through key products. In April, the bank officially incorporates in China and the chairman announces the intention to 'significantly invest in and develop our business in the country.' By the end of the year HSBC is operating from 53 outlets in the country – up from 39 – and is the first foreign bank to receive permission to open a branch in rural China. September sees the official launch of HSBC Premier – the world's first truly global banking service – which is soon dubbed 'The world's local bank account.'

HSBC continues its long-standing engagement with the environmental agenda when it launches the HSBC Climate Partnership in May. This five-year, US$100m project aims to tackle the causes and impact of climate change. The bank also appoints Nicholas Stern to the post of special advisor on Economic Development and Climate Change. The bank's principles are put into practice to good effect in its new HQ in Mexico which wins Gold awards for its environmental design, construction and operation. This is just one of many awards that HSBC receives throughout the year - others include Asia's top retail bank and the Best International Islamic Bank.
In May HSBC bid farewell to Sir John Bond, and welcomed Stephen Green as Group Chairman.