The Lion Wakes: A Modern History of HSBC

The Lion Wakes: A Modern History of HSBC

David Kynaston

Language: English

Pages: 768

ISBN: 1781250553

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Lion Wakes: A Modern History of HSBC

David Kynaston

Language: English

Pages: 768

ISBN: 1781250553

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Lion Wakes tells the modern story of HSBC, starting in the late 1970s, when the bank first broke out of the Asia-Pacific region with its purchase of Marine Midland Bank in the US. It follows HSBC's battle to purchase Midland Bank in1992, the subsequent move of head office from Hong Kong to London, and the string of acquisitions that brought the bank to its pre-eminent place in global finance today. Acclaimed historians Richard Roberts and David Kynaston chronicle the bank's struggles as well as its successes: the last part of the book deals with the ill-fated move into consumer finance in the US, as well as the financial crisis of 2008 and its effect on HSBC. Impeccably researched and generously illustrated from the HSBC archives, this is a valuable addition to global financial history.

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Russia and sub-Saharan Africa, but overall, it correctly insisted, ‘HSBC is one of the few institutions that can call itself a truly global emerging markets bank’.128 The magazine might also have pointed to Korea, where again it had been a case of once more with feeling. The latest chapter of the saga began in April 2007 when the GMB was alerted to the potential availability of a substantial stake in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB)129 – an attractive prospect, given that regulatory approval for local

from Household rather than imposing its banking practices. ‘It was a poor acquisition,’ commented Booker with a different perspective, ‘compounded by bad management which allowed it to grow spectacularly, it doubled in size. It was, “Leave it alone, these guys are all geniuses, they know what they’re doing.”’128 The conduct of the ‘mortgage guys’ in an outlying part of the organisation − in effect, lowering standards in order to sustain revenue growth − was not realised at the time. It was

considerations. ‘Now some months ago, I was told that Australia was favourite as alternative domicile,’ stated Peston. ‘But given the sheer size of HSBC – a balance sheet roughly as big as UK GDP – it’s not clear that the Australian central bank would quite cut the mustard as lender of last resort for the global giant. In the end, the UK … looks a decent place to be based … HSBC’s board might grump about the cost (they do), but that fat fee [the bank levy] might represent value for money.’ HSBC

voices was Michael Sandberg’s. ‘The present unlimited flow of credit’, he cautioned the government, ‘will result not only in a weaker currency and intolerable inflation but also in structural damage to the economy.’ In the event, there was no soft landing: monetary policy remained ineffective, the property bubble burst spectacularly, and the Hong Kong dollar continued its relentless slide southwards. There was also, by the summer of 1982, a major new factor about to come into play. ‘It was

discovered the answer when he met with Eddie George, the unusually powerful deputy governor of the Bank of England, later that same month. ‘I asked him specifically if the Bank was behind the proposal,’ Pearse recorded, ‘and he said that he saw great synergy between our two groups [i.e. Midland and Lloyds] and they would much prefer this solution which is within the family.’40 Over the next few weeks it became apparent that the Bank of England not only favoured a Midland/Lloyds merger to create a

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