Therefore, HSBC can still strive for profits as a “quasi central bank” a few years before the end of the British rule. For example, when other banks are temporarily short of liquidity, HSBC will act as the lender of last resort, but the loan is only for commercial purposes. HSBC also acts as a clearinghouse between banks, giving it free access to the surplus of the banking system and significant influence over the money supply. The British government in Hong Kong was unstable because it was afraid of introducing competition.

It stopped issuing new banking licenses from 1965

To 1978, and also prevented the expansion of branches of foreign banks, which allowed HSBC to maintain its leading position for a long time. Later, thanks to China’s reform and opening up, Bank of China and its sister banks tried to expand their business, and Hong Kong’s banking system underwent major changes again.

In the 1980s, Hong Kong shifted from Kuwait Phone Number manufacturing to service industry, and its financial status gradually increased. While international financial institutions are gradually expanding their power in Hong Kong, their dissatisfaction with HSBC’s long-term advantage as a settlement center has increased sharply. The British Hong Kong government has gradually shown its determination to control monetary policy and defend the linked exchange rate. 

In 1987, the then newly appointed Financial Secretary

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Sir Piers Jacobs (1933-1999), rejected HSBC’s proposal to build a new settlement center. The following year, Zhai Kecheng introduced new measures to directly counter HSBC’s clearing privileges and empower the government to ensure that all market participants must comply with the government’s monetary policy. In 1992, the British Hong Kong government no longer provided support for banks with short-term liquidity shortages through HSBC, and took direct responsibility.

After the British rule ended, the special relationship between HSBC and Hong Kong also ended. While HSBC understands that its privileges are disappearing, it is also determined to transform itself from a regional bank into an international regional bank. HSBC moved to London in 1993, and has been acquiring banks from all over the world to expand its business in Europe and the Americas, but its Asian business in mainland China and Hong Kong is still its corporate focus. Since 2007, the business has been declining.

Whether this Hong Kong legend, who emphasizes the supremacy of strength, can continue to use both sides as a liaison between China and foreign countries, earn multilateral dividends, and go global. Or is it like the fate of Hong Kong, from internationalization to Chineseization, to become the real The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited? Believe the ending is obvious.

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