CSR Initiatives at HSBC: Making Good Business Sense


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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG049
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1999-2005
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : HSBC
Industry : Banking / Financial Services
Countries : UK

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Group's Origins and Evolution

The HSBC Group provided a wide range of personal financial services, consumer finance, private banking, commercial banking for small and medium enterprises, corporate and institutional banking, investment banking, and transaction banking to customers across the globe.

As on December 31, 2004, HSBC had an asset base of US$ 1277 billion, a pre-tax profit of US$ 19.4 million (Refer Exhibit I for financial results of the HSBC Group, for the year 2004), and over 10,000 offices worldwide employing 232,000 employees in 76 countries.

The group was one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world with well-established businesses in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. The History Wall at HSBC's Group Office in London has around 4000 images depicting the origins and evolution of the Group across geographies, historical events like the World Wars, and the changing global economic environment.

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, the founder member of the modern group, had its beginnings in the business communities of the China coast in the 1860s.

There was a need for specialist banking services - preferably from a bank that was locally owned and managed - and the founding of the bank in 1865 was in response to this need. The bank was positioned as a locally based bank operating on sound Scottish banking principles.

The new bank's commitment to local ownership and management required a special arrangement for incorporation.

Rather than operate under the existing British or colonial regulations - which would have required a London Head office, the bank's directors persuaded the Treasury in London to accept incorporation under a special Hong Kong ordinance.

After the Second World War, the management realized the risk of concentrating its interests in Hong Kong and sought to diversify its presence through a series of alliances and acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region.

This was achieved with the acquisition of the Mercantile Bank (1959), in the Indian subcontinent and Malaysia, and acquiring a controlling stake in Hang Seng Bank Limited (a local Hong Kong bank in 1965)...

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