HSBC’s presence in Malaysia dates back to 1884 when the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited established its first office in the country, on the island of Penang, with privileges to issue currency notes.
By 1959, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited had embarked on a programme of acquisitions. Through the acquisition of The Mercantile Bank, which started operations in Malaysia in 1860, HSBC is indirectly the oldest bank in Malaysia.
It opened offices in Ipoh in 1909 followed by branches in Malacca, Johor Bahru, and Kuala Lumpur in 1910. The Kota Bharu branch was opened in 1912.
In the 1920s to 1930s, the Bank opened more branches in several states. The Sungai Petani branch was opened in 1922, the Kuantan branch in 1929, the Muar branch in 1930, and the Kuala Terengganu branch in 1936.
In Sabah, the first branch opened in Kota Kinabalu in 1947. Branches were set up in Sandakan and Tawau a year later, followed by Labuan in 1957.
Meanwhile, in Sarawak, a branch was opened in Kuching in 1958. Another was established in Sibu in 1959, followed by a second branch in Kuching in 1964.
In 2006, HSBC was the first foreign bank to be awarded license to operate a Takaful (Islamic insurance) business in Malaysia. HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Limited (49% shareholding), Jerneh Asia Berhad (31% shareholding) and Employees Provident Fund Board of Malaysia (20% shareholding); commenced operations in August 2006.
In 2007, HSBC Bank Malaysia was the first locally incorporated foreign bank to be awarded an Islamic banking subsidiary licence in Malaysia, and HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, a full-fledged Islamic bank wholly owned by HSBC Bank Malaysia, commenced operations in August 2008. HSBC in Malaysia has a network of 68 branches nationwide, of which 26 are HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad branches.
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