The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was founded in Hong Kong on March 3, 1865, and in Shanghai one month later. In 1980, HSBC acquired 51 per cent of Marine Midland Bank, buying the rest in 1987. HSBC Holdings was established in Britain in 1991 as the parent of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation ahead of its purchase of the UK-based Midland Bank and the impending 1997 transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from Britain to China.
Big bank lacks personal touch
I guess it was a little naive of me to think that HSBC moved its Tin Wan branch to Aberdeen to provide a better customer service for residents in the Tin Wan district.
I realised the extent of my naivety when I went to my 'new' HSBC bank in Aberdeen for the first time at lunchtime last Monday.
Not only would it have been impossible to reach a teller during my lunch hour, but, judging by the length of the queues, neither would it have been possible for me to eat lunch, nor would I have been able to get back to work before closing time.
When I rang the HSBC customer service hotline to query the closing of such a busy branch as Tin Wan, I was put into another queue, and had to wait for 17 minutes before being granted the privilege of speaking to one of their customer service 'executives'. The response was that it was a 'management decision'.
All said and done, however, HSBC is a business, and I guess it was a commercial decision. But I wonder what kind of a loss the local Tin Wan branch was causing.
When I went to deposit some money at their Tin Wan ATM, I found that the deposit service had been withdrawn as well.
Perhaps it's time for a few of us local people to start voting with our feet, and while HSBC continues to buy up the rest of the banking world, place our dollars in the hands of a local bank that looks after the people who invest in it.
CRAIG BOSWELL Ap Lei Chau