banking: The Bank That Ate the World

After a huge expansion in mature markets, HSBC is speeding efforts to tap the pocketbooks of the new èlite developing throughout the globe

Scotman Thomas Sutherland, a manager at a shipping company, wisely recognized the profits to be had in the burgeoning trade in a developing market like China. The bank he helped start, Hongkong and Shanghai, now called HSBC, became one of China's top financial institutions within just a few years of its founding. That was in 1865.

Today history is going full circle. The London-based megabank--the world's second largest bank by market value in mid-January--is returning to its roots. China, the world's fastest-growing economy, is the hottest market in global finance, sending international banks on a mad scramble for acquisitions and customers.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!