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HSBC History: Sharing over 150 years of story, culture and brand heritage

Written by Jess Sturman-Coombs
July 8, 2021 at 3:24 PM



As one of the largest financial organisations in the world, HSBC’s purpose is to, “open up a world of opportunity”, for its 40 million-plus customers worldwide. This network has grown to cover Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Latin America, since its initial foundation in 1865.

The organisation’s initial aim being to, “establish a bank in Hong Kong and Shanghai for the support of local and international trade”. HSBC has survived the Great Depression and the Second World War, going on to grow exponentially in scale and reputation, and as pioneers in technology and “government and infrastructure finance.” HSBC’s archives map the journey from the early days of 1865 to the robust, diverse, and trusted financial organisation that it has continued to be since then, bringing with it a far reaching and fascinating cultural history.

With over 150 years of unique heritage, HSBC launched their new HSBC History Website on 6th July 2021. This site will act as a single point of reference for internal and external stakeholders, such as employees and customers, facilitating access, research, exploration and discovery for the story of HSBC’s incredible journey.

We are thrilled that this vast digital collection is to be managed and shared via the PastView platform and that visitors will now be able to uncover a wealth of born-digital and digitised HSBC records and assets in a whole host of new and engaging ways thanks to HSBC’s unique and innovative vision.

In line with HSBC’s purpose, this new history website will create an opportunity for their customers to engage and connect with the brand identity they know and love through prints, smuggled wartime notes, 360 degree models, modern banking technologies, menus, photographs, annual reports, banknotes, and much much more, enabling them to digitally immerse themselves in the complete HSBC story.

We are excited to be a part of what will prove to be a wonderful portal into this grand and culturally historic archive.

The website can be accessed here: