Awards for Excellence 2009: Hong Kong
Best Bank: HSBC
It was not a vintage year for HSBC in its home market. Profits before tax fell by 28% to HK$38.6 billion ($5 billion), the bank’s $17.5 billion rights offering came later than it should have in the eyes of some analysts, and local media reacted with dismay when it slashed the interest rate on Hong Kong dollar savings by 90% to 0.001% – prompting one commentator to note that one would have to deposit HK$2 million at HSBC for a year to earn enough interest to buy a small cup of coffee. Despite its setbacks, however, HSBC is still the dominant bank in Hong Kong and none of its peers did well enough to dislodge it from that spot.