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. 

HSBC's revenue dropped 5.2 per cent last year, while its operating costs rose by a higher than expected 6.1 per cent.Photo: Felix Wong

Investors left with puzzle after HSBC lowers expectations

If you can't hit the target, then lower it. That seems to be the strategy emerging at HSBC Holdings for the next three to five years as the bank tries to reverse a 17 per cent drop in pre-tax profits last year.