HSBC is based in Canary Wharf in London but is a worldwide banking and financial services company. It is the world's second largest bank and financial services group and second largest public company. Before it was taken over by HSBC in 1992, it was known as the UK based Midland Bank. Midland Bank was one of the four big banks for most of the 20th Century. Midland Bank was founded by Charles Geach in Birmingham in 1836. Geach was a former employee of Bank of England. He gained the support he needed and financial backing from leading merchants and manufacturers in Birmingham. The Midland Bank had a famous logo; a golden griffin inside a circle of golden coins. Their slogan was "The Listening Bank" written by the advertising executive Rod Allen.
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation initially took just 14% of The Midland Bank's equity interest in 1987 until full ownership was taken in 1992, where HSBC moved it's Hong Kong head quarters to London.
HSBC is organised within four business groups:
Global banking & markets
Personal Financial Services
HSBC's primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of August 2010 it was the largest company on the London Stock Exchange with a capitalisation of £115.8 billion. In 2008 HSBC was named the world's most valuable banking brand by "The Banker" magazine.
Today HSBC remains the largest bank in Hong Kong.