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Here are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of HSBC, “The World’s Local Bank. ” Strengths– *International Finance. Since HSBC is a multinational company itself, it is well-qualified to advise other companies on aspects of international business. With offices around the world, for the cosmopolitan client, HSBC often cannot be beaten in this area. HSBC knows how to succeed in M&A and organic and effective growth– it was mostly an Asian bank until it took over a UK bank in 1992 and now has become the world’s second-largest bank by profit. China. HSBC is the “Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation” and it has 140 years of experience in China. Since China is the place to be nowadays for businesses and banks, HSBC benefits for being both an old Chinese company and trusted by the Chinese people. The best news for HSBC is that as other companies grow in China, it does, too, because it gains new clients and new global opportunities with each passing day. HSBC has the largest network of any foreign bank in China and deeply understands the Chinese market and customer.

In a world that is increasingly going China’s way, this is quite a boon to HSBC. *Listed in London. HSBC is primarily listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, which saves the company much grief in complying with new American Sarbanes-Oxley laws. Many companies have chosen to list on foreign exchanges other than America because of the expensive new regulations. *Record profits. Last year, HSBC experienced the most profits ever for a UK high street bank, with profits of 11. 5bn($20. 97bn) for the whole year. ——————– Weaknesses- *Branding. While it is certainly a global company, HSBC came late to the game on deciding to perform an integrated marketing strategy and capitalize on its global brand. Because it had set up so many different banks in different countries at different times over a hundred year period, it set them up under different names– Hong Kong Bank of Canada, British Bank of the Middle East, HSBC Banco Roberts. Not even all of these banks, prior to 1998, carried the HSBC logo.

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In 1998, they were all branded together, but the previous lack of branding and the name changes may have hurt HSBC in brand recognition. Customers may have thought that HSBC was taking over their local bank and not realized that HSBC had already been serving them for decades. In any case, the re-branding was an overdue move that should have occurred before 1998. *Record profits ending. As is usually the case, record profits can only last so long. HSBC announced in December 2006 that it was doing just as well as last year, but not as well in revenues.

It announced that each year, its bad debt rises. Other banks’ shares fell as well on the news. ——————— Opportunities– *The Middle East. Other banks are running scared of this region. However, HSBC has run its regional business locally and been rewarded for its efforts with numerous awards and honors for the Middle East market. HSBC is a trusted name there, and the company has taken advantage of Iraq’s new democracy by creating a presence in the country. HSBC is the largest international bank in the Middle East. *Emerging economies.

In addition to the growing Chinese middle class, Brazilians and Indians are beginning to emerge as growing consumers, and therefore growing consumer spenders. Some denizens of these countries previously did not even own a bank account, but companies like HSBC are poised to move in and take advantage of the growing middle class in these areas. In places like Argentina and Turkey, HSBC experienced pre-tax profits of 50% last year. This is where it is growing the most. By investing in these countries, HSBC can offset problems it may have as spending in the US and UK declines. ———————-

Threats– *Downturn in American spending. As interest rates rise and the housing boom ends, Americans are predicted to rely less on consumer credit and more on their saving skills to get by. The drop in American spending will be bad for the global economy as a whole, and HSBC will certainly be affected. In 2005, HSBC pretax profits rose 5% to $10. 64bn ( 6bn) for the first six months of the year, largely on the rise in consumer finance for growing consumer spending. *Employees striking. Last year, British employees held a strike involving 1,500 workers at HSBC branches in London.

At its annual meeting, striking workers stood outside, handing out bags of nuts and saying that they are paid “peanuts” while HSBC experiences record profits. Strikes such as this, especially in union-conscious Europe, are bad for image reasons and HSBC needs to take action to ensure that its workers are happy just as its customers are. *Email viruses. Last year, HSBC Group’s CEO announced that HSBC received tens of thousands of email viruses a day and must spend great amounts of money to prevent these from causing systemwide damage. As most banking is done on computers, even one virus could cripple HSBC.

On their worst day in 2004, the bank received 100,000 attacks. *Identity theft. With a trillion dollars in managed assets, taking over HSBC is a cracker’s dream. HSBC has to remain on the front lines of security and protect its customers, at the same time reassuring them that online banking is safe. In August 2006, HSBC was accused, despite its claimed airtight security, of having left its online customers open to a security glitch for two years without fixing. Researchers at Cambridge University claimed that any HSBC account could be broken into within nine attempts.

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