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I was travelling into the CBD this morning on the train and took The Good Weekend magazine which accompanies Saturday's The Age with me. I got to page 9 and found this disgusting advertisement (picture above is in two parts - the scanner wouldn't couldn't handle the full size in one).
Who do HSBC think Australians are - dumbclucks? Do they think we know nothing about them and the way they conduct business? Do they think we know nothing about how Russian billionaires are making their billions? Is HSBC highly amused at all this? Well, I might have been born at night, HSBC, but it wasn't last night.
HSBC was a significant player in that greedy and larcenous event known as the American subprime mortgage crisis. You will remember this event, dear Networkers. It is when the banks put their proud ethics on display for us all to see You will remember that it cost people their homes, their jobs, their retirement funds. The fall-out has been felt around the globe, even in Australia.
In November 2002 HSBC expanded further in the United States. Under the chairmanship of Sir John Bond, it spent £9bn (US$15.5bn) to acquire Household Finance Corporation (HFC), a US credit card issuer and subprime lender. In a 2003 cover story, The Banker noted "when banking historians look back, they may conclude that [it] was the deal of the first decade of the 21st century". Under the new name of HSBC Finance, the division was the second largest subprime lender in the US.
In March 2009, HSBC announced that it would shut down the branch network of its HSBC Finance arm in the U.S., leading to nearly 6,000 job losses and leaving only the credit card business to continue operating.
Chairman Stephen Green stated, "HSBC has a reputation for telling it as it is. With the benefit of hindsight, this is an acquisition we wish we had not undertaken."; analyst Colin Morton said, "the takeover was an absolute disaster".
Networkers, the names and profiles of HSBC's Australian executives can be found here.
The Head Office of HSBC is located in Sydney:
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Russian Billionaires: Roman Abramovich, Boris Berezovsky, Oleg Deripaska, Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, Alexander Lebedev, Mikhail Prokhorov
State Asset Expectations Lowered for 2010