Bank history and archives

The Bank's Archive department preserves and provides access to HSBC's archive collections in the Asia-Pacific region. HSBC's historical records and art collections can be used to answer enquires from the community and to support research and exhibitions.

Researchers wishing to make an appointment to visit the Archives can contact us at the following address:

HSBC Asia-Pacific Archives
Administration Asia-Pacific
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
1/F Tower 2 & 3, HSBC Centre, 1 Sham Mong Road
Email: archivesasp@hsbc.com.hk

The HSBC Asian Story Wall, in the reception of HSBC's head office in Hong Kong, provides access to the history of the Bank in a modern and visually striking way.  Themes and images from our past are presented across two plasma walls of 30 screens each, and illustrate the Bank's rich heritage in the Asia-Pacific region.  The display can be seen by customers and visitors during normal office hours.

HSBC's Asia-Pacific Archives maintains the historical records and special collections of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. The collections include

  • records and photographs documenting the Bank's business in Hong Kong since 1865 .
  • a rich array of historical banknotes issued by HSBC in the Hong Kong SAR and mainland China, and other coins and currency.
  • artworks of the Far East and the China Trade in the 18th and 19th centuries, by both Chinese and western artists, including a significant collection of works by George Chinnery.

Impressions of the East: The Art of George Chinnery

The exhibition was jointly presented by the Bank and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Over 180 paintings by artist George Chinnery were displayed at the Hong Kong Museum of History. HSBC contributed 71 oils, watercolours, ink and pencil works from its corporate art collections to the exhibition, which attracted over 50,000 visitors.

Banknote that tell a story exhibition

HSBC has been issuing banknotes in Hong Kong since 1865. To increase public awareness of the history and design of banknotes in Hong Kong, HSBC and the Heritage Museum presented the "Banknotes that tell a story" exhibition in 2004. The exhibition attracted more than 265,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular thematic exhibitions ever held at the Museum.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Bank and Museum launched the "My Hong Kong Banknote Design" competition inviting the public to design a HKD2,500 banknote that reflected the dynamic character of Hong Kong.

Art and Imitation in China exhibition

In 2006, HSBC was the sole sponsor of the exhibition "Art & Imitation in China" organised by The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong. The exhibition was held at the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, and featured over 200 spectacular exhibits, ranging from ritual bronzes of the Shang period through to contemporary Chinese paintings.  Exhibits were contributed by private collectors and institutions and included five paintings from HSBC's own collections.

Painting of Hong Kong by a Chinese artist, circa 1855 from the archive collections.

Painting of Hong Kong by a Chinese artist, circa 1855 from the archive collections.

Photograph from the archive collections featuring one of the HSBC bronze lions, which have guarded the Hong Kong head office since 1935.

Photograph from the archive collections featuring one of the HSBC bronze lions, which have guarded the Hong Kong head office since 1935.

Share certificate from the archive collections, issued by HSBC at the foundation of the Bank in 1865.

Share certificate from the archive collections, issued by HSBC at the foundation of the Bank in 1865.

String of Chinese coins, circa 1860, from the archive collections.

String of Chinese coins, circa 1860, from the archive collections.

The HSBC Asian Story Wall integrates the interior design with the latest audiovisual technology to display the Bank's impressive heritage archives. Two arrays of 30 flat screens in a wrap-around formation make each 'digital canvas' the largest high-resolution display in Hong Kong.

The HSBC Asian Story Wall comprises two walls of 30 flat screens making each wall the largest high-resolution display in Hong Kong. It was designed as a digital canvas to display material from HSBC's rich archive collections.

Portrait of the Chinese merchant Mowqua by George Chinnery, from the archive collections.

Portrait of the Chinese merchant Mowqua by George Chinnery, from the archive collections.

The Banknotes that Tell a Story exhibition was held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum attracting more than 265,000 visitors.

"The Banknotes that Tell a Story" exhibition was held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum attracting more than 265,000 visitors.

First place winner of the 'My Hong Kong Banknote Design' competition, organised by the Bank and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to invite the public to design a HKD2,500 banknote that reflected the dynamic character of Hong Kong.

First place winner of the "My Hong Kong Banknote Design" competition, organised by the Bank and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum to invite the public to design a HKD2,500 banknote that reflected the dynamic character of Hong Kong.

A winning design from a banknote competition attracting public interest in Hong Kong banknotes.

A winning design from a banknote competition attracting public interest in Hong Kong banknotes.

Paintings from HSBC's art collection displayed at the 'Art and Imitation in China' exhibition.

Paintings from HSBC's art collection displayed at the 'Art and Imitation in China' exhibition.

Over 200 Chinese art pieces from the Shang Dynasty to the present day are displayed at 'Art and Imitation in China' exhibition.

Over 200 Chinese art pieces from the Shang Dynasty to the present day are displayed at 'Art and Imitation in China' exhibition.

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The history of banknotes in Hong Kong reveals many fascinating stories of the territory.
Patrick Ho Chi-ping
Secretary for Home Affairs, HKSAR

Further information