HSBC Holdings is the second largest banking corporation in the world according to the total worth of its assets, ahead of big names such as the Deutsche Bank and the Bank of America. It is interesting that the HSBC has the right to issue banknotes even though it is a commercial bank.
The HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) started operating on this day in 1865. It is one of the largest banks in the entire world, whose total assets are worth around 2,700 billion dollars. This makes HSBC holdings the second largest banking corporation in the world, ahead of big names such as Deutsche Bank, Bank of China, Bank of America, Citigroup, etc.
The HSBC first became operational in Hong Kong, after the British conquered that area. The founder of the HSBC was the Scottish banker Sir Thomas Sutherland, who allegedly wanted the bank to operate in accordance to reasonable Scottish banking principles. It is interesting to note that the opium trade with China was a booming business at the time.
A specific characteristic of the HSBC was its right to issue banknotes, despite being a commercial bank. Namely, HSBC is one of only three commercial banks that have the right to issue Hong Kong dollars (HKD) banknotes. These banknotes are legal tender, and most are issued precisely by the HSBC (the other two banks issue a smaller number of them).