In-depth SWOT Analysis of HSBC – The World’s Largest Banking and Financial Services Organisations

Updated on: Nov 23, 2021
SWOT Analysis of HSBC - Featured Image

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Previously, we had covered an elaborated SWOT Analysis of Standard Chartered Bank. Let us now do an in-depth study on the SWOT analysis of HSBC bank.

HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC) is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. It is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. They have been serving customers for more than 150 years and their network covers 64 countries and territories. 

The reason how this bank grew so big and the strategy behind the growth is it’s implementing some of the most successful marketing techniques using digital platforms as most of the customers are online nowadays. So if you are interested in learning the latest skills in digital marketing – check out our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

Before we go into the SWOT Analysis of HSBC, let us know about HSBC as a company.

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About HSBC

SWOT Analysis of HSBC - Image of HSBC Bank

                     (HSBC Bank, Source: Financial Times) 

In March 1865, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, was formed with a simple idea of – a local bank serving international needs.

HSBC is listed on the London, New York, Hongkong and Bermuda stock exchanges. Recently, it was listed #43 in Forbes as The World’s Most Valuable Brands in 2020.

HSBC is officially derived from ‘The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. It operates across different geographical regions, such as Asia, the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.


Quick Stats on HSBC
Founder Sir Thomas Sutherland
Year Founded 1865
Origin United Kingdom
No. of Employees 226,059
Company Type Public
Market Cap $ 118.97 Billion (2021)
Annual Revenue $ 50.429 Billion (2020)
Net Income/ Profit $ 6.009 Billion (2020)

Services by HSBC

SWOT Analysis of HSBC - HSDB Range of Services

                 (HSDB Range of Services, Source: BankSathi)

  • Credit Cards 
  • Equity Trading and Private Equity
  • Asset Management
  • Insurance
  • Investment Banking and Investment Management
  • Mortgage Loans, Mutual Funds

Competitors of HSBC

  • Citi Group
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Deutschen Bank
  • Bank of America 
  • National Australia Bank
  • China Construction Bank Corporation

SWOT Analysis of HSBC

SWOT analysis of HSBC analysis its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It deals with two factors: internal and external. Strength and weakness are based on internal factors whereas opportunities and threats rely on external factors of the bank.

SWOT Analysis of HSBC - SWOT Infographics of HSBC
Below is a step-by-step detailed guide to help you with the SWOT analysis of HSBC.

Strengths of HSBC

  • Global Reach: HSBC’s global reach is its unique strength.
  • Highly Capitalized: HSBC has proven to be a highly capitalized company in the past. It will surely be able to withstand any type of crisis in the future and wouldn’t need to rely on the government during the crisis.
  • Diversified and Highly Skilled Workforce: Diverse people, perspectives and ideas have helped HSBC to build a strong, dedicated and connected workforce. Additionally, the organisation has been investing huge resources in the development and mentoring of its employees.
  • Hybrid Working Model: HSBC has adopted a working model that supports collaboration between physical and virtual workplaces and focuses on their employees’ mental health and well-being.
  • Great Return on Capital Expenditure: HSBC is fairly successful in the execution of new projects and building new revenue streams, which helps the company to earn a great return on capital expenditure.
  • Climate Strategy: HSBC has recognised that our planet urgently needs drastic and lasting action to protect our businesses, communities, and natural environment from the damaging effects of climate change. Additionally, they have been accelerating innovation to scale up climate change solutions and building global partnerships so that investment is channelled towards sustainable projects.

Weaknesses of HSBC

  • Weak Financial Position: HSBC’s financial position has weakened since its debt in proportion to its loan stock portfolio is increasing.
  • Cannot Face Challenges: When it comes to facing challenges by the new entrants in the market, HSBC has not been able to tackle the situation and lost a small market share in the niche categories. HSBC highly needs to build an internal feedback mechanism directly with its sales team to deal with such challenges.
  • Name Changes: HSBC used to set up banks under different names such as Hong Kong Bank of Canada, British Bank of the Middle East, etc for over 100 years. The lack of branding and the name changes may have weakened HSBC’s brand recognition.
  • Involvement in Controversies: HSBC has been involved in numerous scandals, frauds and controversies that affect the reliability of the company. Customers may find it a little difficult to trust a company involved in controversies. 

Opportunities for HSBC

  • Advanced Digitalization: HSBC has invested a huge amount of money over the past few years to build its online platform. This investment has led to an increase in sales channels. The company can use this opportunity in future to know customers better and serve their needs using data analytics. 

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  • Analysing Trends: New trends in consumer behaviour lead to the opening of new markets, HSBC can take advantage of these emerging trends and grow its share in the market.
  • Work on Building Strong Position: This will help HSBC to outperform competitors during an economic downturn and build a strong reputation for being one of the safest banks for depositors to invest in. 

Threats to HSBC

  • Introduction of New Technologies: New technologies developed by competitors could be a great threat to the industry in the medium to long term future.
  • Growth of Local Distributors: The growth of local distributors creates threats in the market as the competition is paying higher margins to local distributors.
  • Less Credit Availability: Losses borne by HSBC and investors on a global scale has resulted in less credit being available to customers.
  • Changes in Laws and Regulations: Regulatory changes in the countries where HSBC operates can threaten the company’s profitability.
  • Other Issues: Growing credit issues, financial losses and unethical behaviour among the banks and financial institutions may lead to a shrink in the pool of prospects and customers.

This ends our in-depth SWOT analysis of HSBC. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

HSBC has grown tremendously around the world and captured a lot of markets and industries. HSBC being a part of the global banking industry can take advantage of tremendous opportunities and increase its share in the market. 

HSBC should simultaneously reconsider its strategy by examining its strengths and weaknesses with opportunities and threats in the marketplace. HSBC is digitising banking using the latest blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence to make banking for their customers’ easier and much more secure. 

As there is growing competition, HSBC and several other companies all over the globe are focusing on improving their marketing efforts through digital channels. If you are interested in learning digital marketing, don’t forget to check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Digital Marketing Course.

We hope this blog on the SWOT Analysis of HSBC has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can also read our comprehensive study on SWOT Analysis of Bank of America.

If you enjoy in-depth company research just like the SWOT analysis of HSBC, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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