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Company: HSBC Holdings PLC

Brand value: US$22,000 million

Headquarter city: London

Industry: Banks

Year formed: 1865


HSBC takes its name from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, which launched in 1865 to finance trade between Europe and Asia. It has since expanded to become one of the world’s largest financial services providers, with headquarters in London’s Canada Square and more than 4,000 branches and offices in 70 countries and territories. In the UK, it operates from 1,800 sites, providing personal banking and finance, corporate and investment banking. HSBC is one of the few banks to hold more deposits than loans, giving it a reputation for safety and stability. HSBC for many years called itself the “World’s local bank”, but has more recently been focusing on fuelling human ambition around the world, and the importance of seeing issues from an alternative point of view. HSBC is a heavy user of airport advertising, and sponsors air bridges across the UK, Asia and other markets, aimed at international travellers. HSBC recently turned the 194-metre sky bridge at London’s Gatwick Airport into a sound installation mimicking China’s Yangtze’s River, to celebrate HSBC’s 15-year partnership with the WWF. The partnership is part of the HSBC Water Programme to provide people around the world with access to clean water. Recent UK advertising includes a multi-channel campaign showing a child trying to get access to his friends’ tree-house den, which requires a password. The ad highlights the bank’s voice-activated security system. HSBC is listed in London, Hong Kong, Paris and Bermuda.