HSBC set up its first office in Manila in 1875, when the country was already an established and thriving trade port known for its production of sugar, rice, hemp, coffee and coconut oil.
The Pearl of the Orient was teeming with opportunities and its abundant commodities were attracting merchants and traders from across the region and beyond. The potential of this busy Asian hub was vast and the bank saw a role in financing and facilitating its future.
HSBC started by supporting the country’s major agricultural industries and financed some of the earliest sugar and rice mills. The bank was also instrumental in the development of the country’s first major transportation artery – the Manila–Dagupan Railway – which opened in 1883 and was extended in 1906.
This ignited a new chapter for the country’s trade development as it enabled traders to connect with businesses in Luzon, allowing them to export goods overseas. Over the years, the economy shifted toward manufacturing electronics for the global market, driven by the ever-rising commercial and consumer demand for computers, smartphones, digital devices, ICT infrastructure, medical instruments, automotive components and solar technology.
That’s why the bank strategically grew from a single office in Manila’s business district to a larger branch network with back office operations to support an extensive global network.
Enhanced connectivity today translates to doing more online. HSBC is already a substantially digital bank and is on track to spend more in 2020 on technology than ever before. Investments will go towards further digitizing key retail and wealth platforms and building a new Trade Services operating model fit for a digital future. Customers will benefit from more sophisticated, robust, rapid payment solutions, and easier trade payments. Put simply, they’ll see their money deliver more returns, faster.
Recently, HSBC laid out its ambition to align financed emissions – the carbon emitted by customers in our portfolio – to the Paris Agreement goal of net zero by 2050 or sooner.
Globally, it has committed to facilitating between $750 billion and $1 trillion of finance and investment by 2030 to help clients with their low-carbon transition. The bank will also develop more transition finance solutions to help decarbonize the most emissions intensive sectors, while helping to maintain economic stability.
HSBC was there at the dawn of the Philippines’ modern age, when it began accelerating and diversifying into international trade. The bank remains committed to the future of the Philippines by supporting the government’s nation- building efforts, and helping clients and customers to connect with sustainable growth opportunities near and far.