HSBC – Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

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HSBC is a British banking institution that has become one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the country.

It has its origins in the East, having opened its first banks in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, which is paid homage to in the full name of the company – Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

With headquarters in 8 Canada Square, London; HSBC is a truly multinational corporation – at last count, it had around 7,200 offices worldwide, serving a total of 89 million customers.

HSBC on Altrincham high street

While most people will purely deal with them for personal banking accounts, they also specialise in working with commercial companies, investment banking and wealth management.

During the global credit crunch, HSBC was seen as one of the safest investments in finance, largely thanks to their business model which promotes deposits and savings over loans – their share price was one of the few not to drop throughout the crisis, while Barclay, TSB, Lloyds and Santander all suffered heavy losses in their share price.

As well as their main operations, HSBC are also responsible for other banking brands including Marks and Spencer, HFC and First Direct – which has no physical stores, and only deals with accounts over the phone and through the internet.