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For HSBC, the multinational banking and financial services organization, it’s been a year of change underpinned by a shift in global brand strategy and internal restructuring. In an effort to consolidate in underperforming markets, HSBC is concentrating its presence in growth markets and businesses where wealth is being created. This accompanied the retirement of the “World’s Local Bank” strategy and the introduction of a new tagline: “HSBC helps you unlock the world’s potential.” In 2011, HSBC was one of the first banks to receive initial approval to underwrite corporate debt in China, giving the brand a significant head start in the world’s fastest growing market. After seeming to avoid the worst of the financial crises, HSBC is now caught up by the compliance irregularities affecting many of its competitors. It remains to be seen how HSBC will emerge from allegations of laundering funds and the Libor investigations — both of which, at a minimum, could result in costly fines and tightened controls.
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