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 has done business in China for more than a century, and is often invited to take part in banking innovations there. Photo: Bloomberg

HSBC and Standard Chartered among first Shanghai free-trade zone banks

HSBC and Standard Chartered are expected to be among the first batch of foreign banks to offer a wide range of banking services in the mainland's first free-trade zone, in Shanghai, with Beijing wanting to open its financial sector wider to foreign investment.