These acronyms refer to a British multinational in the financial sector, specifically Hong Konk and Sanghai Banking Corporation. Although this entity was officially founded in 1991, it has been operating since 1865. Its main headquarters are located in London and its corporate identity is a hexagonal symbol inspired by the cross of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. HSBC
A giant of banks and the world of finance
Internationally, it provides its services to 40 million customers in 70 countries. It is one of the leading stock indicators on both the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
In 2014, it had a net profit of approximately 5 billion dollars. According to its assets, in 2018 it was declared the seventh bank in the world and according to stock market capitalization it ranks eighth in the banking sector.
It has 266,000 employees at its various headquarters. One of its main delegations is the HSBC Tower in the Mexican capital. In 2017, the best international trade bank in Argentina was chosen .
International trade is at the heart of HSBC’s various financial activities (one million dollars is processed per minute in operations related to global trade and its intermediation represents 14% of the entire global market on the planet).
The historical origins of HSBC are related to the opium trade during the 19th century.
The origin of this entity dates back to 1865, when the Scottish Thomas Sutherland founded a local bank in Hong Kong with the purpose of streamlining the financial activity between the British colony and the most varied financial markets in Asia.
In just a few years, the entity became the main financial engine on the Asian continent . The Hong Kong bank played a leading role in the opium wars.
What fueled the conflict was the introduction into China of opium grown in India, which was marketed by the British East India Company. The opium trade was an important source of income for the British, as it allowed them to balance their balance of payments with China (Britain had to offset the expenses that came from taxes on Chinese tea).
Systems engineer Hervé Falciani worked in a branch of the financial institution and his information has been very relevant to make HSBC’s irregularities public.
Courts of law in several countries, a US Senate committee and several journalistic investigations have linked HSBC and some of its affiliates to various illicit activities: money laundering, drug trafficking, tax fraud and illegal financial intermediation.
Many of these allegations are related to the revelations of Hervé Falciani, a former employee of the Swiss branch of HSBC.