The History of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation: Volume 4, The Hongkong Bank in the Period of Development and Nationalism, 1941-1984: From Regional Bank to Multinational Group

This final volume of the history of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation provides a full-scale study of a modern financial institution in the context of its historical role in the East. The author discusses the Bank's return to the East in 1945, the ending of the compradoric system, the Bank's varying relationship with the People's Republic of China, and its role in the financing of Hong Kong's industrialization. He then presents an analysis of the Bank's adjustment to a new world of international banking. The dramatic stories of key acquisitions - Mercantile Bank of India, The British Bank of the Middle East, Hang Seng Bank, and Marine Midland Banks of New York - are recounted on the basis of both documentary evidence and interviews with the principal participants. A central theme is the radical structural change necessary as the Hongkong Bank sought successfully to become first an interregional bank and, subsequently, both an operating bank and a multinational financial holding company. Granted full access to the Bank's most recent archives, the author considers the problems of product diversification, the management of consequent subsidiary companies, changes in recruitment strategy and staff policy, and the impact of technical change. While fully utilising the Bank's own records, the author has also considered materials from national archives, newly discovered private collections, and oral histories gathered world-wide. With the publication of this four-volume history a serious void in our knowledge of Far Eastern economic history has now been filled.