HSBC did not sail through the financial crisis

In an editorial the other day we read this quote, and beg to disagree”

If any bank can claim to have sailed through the global financial crisis relatively intact, it is HSBC. The bank has not been censured by the regulators; it has not been bailed out with one dollar of government funding and, most uniquely of all, its strategy and ethos has not been ripped apart by the Western media.

HSBC insured many behind the scenes products with AIG, and received over $1 Billion from AIG when the assets went bad. HSBC did manage to lose billions on subprime and lax lending in the United States. While HSBC did not receive bailout funds, HSBC did receive billions from AIG, after AIG received bailout funds.

At the present time there are 1,525 articles in our complaints area, ranging from failed HAMP modifications to late payment processing. Allowing for duplicates in our database it is safe to say over 1200 people disagree with the quote above.

It is only through good public relations that HSBC was never recognized as one of the top ten subprime lenders in the United States, where practically all of that lax lending was through unregulated divisions of the bank.

Here at the HSBC monitor we are thankful that people send us daily complaints and updates. Otherwise we might believe the quote above. Yes, HSBC’s purchase of Household International was a failure. In four official protests to the OCC I personally told HSBC the deal would not work.

This is the same OCC that failed miserably as a regulator, thus one must ask if HSBC and the OCC were both asleep.

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No, HSBC did not sail through the financial crisis. The truth is HSBC pulled the rug out from under many brokers and lenders without warning, resulting in broker and lender bankruptcy. That resulted in job losses, and job losses soon spread throughout the financial industry, including HSBC Finance.

By early 2012 HSBC credit cards remained as the only active division of HSBC Finance, and talk on the street is that HSBC wants to sell that division to Capital One. Perhaps the deal will fail regulatory approval, similar to AT&T’s failed pursuit of T-Mobile’s business.