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HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. As of 2012, it was the world’s third-largest bank and sixth-largest public company, according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine.
HSBC is a universal bank and is organised within four business groups: Commercial Banking; Global Banking and Markets; Retail Banking and Wealth Management; and Global Private Banking. It has around 7,200 offices in 85 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, and around 89 million customers. As of 31 March 2012 it had total assets of $2.637 trillion, of which roughly half were in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a quarter each in Asia-Pacific and the Americas.
HSBC Holdings plc was founded in London in 1991 by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to act as a new group holding company and to enable the acquisition of UK-based Midland Bank. The origins of the bank lie in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where branches were first opened in 1865. Today, HSBC remains the largest bank in Hong Kong, and recent expansion in mainland China, where it is now the largest international bank, has returned it to that part of its roots.
HSBC has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 6 July 2012 it had a market capitalisation of £102.7 billion, the second-largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has secondary listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext Paris and the Bermuda Stock Exchange.