HSBC - Local Bank to the World*



Case Code : CLCB032
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Consumer Behavior
Industry : -
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

HSBC, Banking, Local Culture and The World's Local Bank


* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.


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The caselet 'HSBC - The Local Bank of the World' explains the factors which led to the consolidation of the various banks owned by the HSBC Group under a single brand name - HSBC. It also looks into the change in HSBC's advertising strategy after the consolidation which led to the introduction of 'The Local Bank of the World' tagline in its advertisements. The impact of these changes on HSBC's brand name is also explained.


» The impact of 'one size fits all' strategy followed by many MNCs
» The need for a unified brand name
» The importance of understanding local culture for an organization

In 2005, HSBC was one of the world’s largest banking and financial institutions.

Headquartered in London, the bank had a network of 9,700 offices spread across 77 countries in Europe, America, Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa.

In the late 1980s, when William Purves, (Purves) took over as chairperson of HSBC, it was relatively unknown outside Asia. Purves acquired about a dozen bank brands and changed HSBC into a global bank.

Thus, under Purves, HSBC consolidated about a dozen brands that it had acquired, 5,500 offices, and 1,200 financial services subsidiaries which were spread across different countries, with a philosophy of "Think Globally, Act Locally"...

Questions for Discussion:
1. What are the initiatives taken by HSBC to target consumers across various cultures?

2. What were the drawbacks of the 'think, globally, act locally' strategy adopted by William Purves? What prompted HSBC to re-brand?