HSBC offers currency services in mainland

Diana Lin,The China Post

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) yesterday obtained six additional licenses that will allow it to perform foreign currency functions at a local level. This service is available in ten places throughout mainland China, but will extend to Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Wuhan and Xiamen within the next two months. Eddie Wang, chief executive of China business for HSBC, is pleased with the opportunity to service HSBC’s customers in coordination with the People’s Bank of China. “Given our long-established presence in and commitment to mainland China, we are pleased to be the first foreign bank to be able to offer this new service.” In recent years, the mainland has loosened economic policies, but political control remains rigid. The granting of the right to HSBC could have been planned in anticipation of the upcoming 2008 Olympics set to take place in Beijing.

HSBC has been in China since 1865, with headquarters originally located in Hong Kong, but moved in 2000 to Pudong, Shanghai. Among foreign banks, it has the largest branch network in mainland China, with nine branches in Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xiamen, a sub-branch in Puxi, Shanghai and representative offices in Chengdu and Chongqing.

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the principal and founding member of the HSBC Group, which currently has more than 7,000 offices in eighty-one countries and is one of the world’s largest banking and financial service organizations. HSBC entered the Taiwan market in 1984 and now has eight branches islandwide and offers a wide range of personal and corporate banking services.