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HSBC Bank

The HSBC bank is one of the world's biggest banking fish- HSBC stands for Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and whilst HSBC was quick off the mark to take over banks on 4 continents, it started out in the Far East and patches of North Africa and Asia in colonial markets. Older people might remember having an account with the Midland Bank (remember the griffin logo?) which HSBC took over in 1987.
The bank's staggering progress means it now has 215,000 employees in over 9000 offices in 80 countries and covers all the major areas of banking from personal and private banking (the bits we might see on the high street) plus commercial, corporate and investment banking. Calling itself "The world's local bank", chances are wherever you land up on holiday HSBC bank probably actually does have real branches there- even in the USA where banking is much more fragmented than in the UK, there is an HSBC subsidiary in 45 of the 50 US states. The other brand you will have heard of from HSBC is First Direct- originally started as a telephone banking service, and which therefore rather nicely became an internet brand too (First Direct is also the UK's most recommended bank- which probably says more about customer services in general in this country!).

In the UK, HSBC bank has just over 1600 branches plus internet, interactive TV and mobile phone channels, and more affluent customers can benefit from relationship-driven accounts.