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The early years

Standard Chartered is named after two banks which merged in 1969 (the word "standard" never appears in Chinese translation). They were originally known as the Standard Bank of British South Africa and the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China.

Of the two banks, the Chartered Bank is the older having been founded in 1853 following the grant of a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria. The moving force behind the Chartered Bank was a Scot, James Wilson, who made his fortune in London making hats. James Wilson went on to start The Economist, still one of the world's pre-eminent publications. Nine years later, in 1862, the Standard Bank was founded by a group of businessmen led by another Scot, John Paterson, who had emigrated to the Cape Province in South Africa and had become a successful merchant. Both banks were keen to capitalize on the huge expansion of trade between Europe, Asia and Africa and to reap the handsome profits to be made from financing that trade. The Chartered Bank opened its first branches in 1858 in Chennai and Mumbai. A branch opened in Shanghai that summer beginning Standard Chartered's unbroken presence in China. The following year the Chartered Bank opened a branch in Hong Kong and an agency was opened in Singapore. In 1862 the Chartered Bank was authorized to issue bank notes in Hong Kong (First notes issued in 1865). Subsequently it was also authorized to issue bank notes in Singapore, a privilege it continued to exercise up until the end of the 19th Century. Over the following decades both the Standard Bank and the Chartered Bank printed bank notes in a variety of countries including China, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and even during the siege of Makeking in South Africa. Today Standard Chartered is still one of the three banks which prints Hong Kong's bank notes.

Expansion in Africa and Asia

The expansion of the Standard Bank and the Chartered Bank were in Africa and Asia, respectively. From 1892 to 1912, the Standard Bank opened branches in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Zanzibar (Currently part of Tanzania), and Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.). Of these new businesses, Botswana, Zanzibar and the D.R.C. proved the most difficult and the branches soon closed. In Asia, the Chartered Bank expanded opening offices in Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippine, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam from 1862 to 1904. Both the Chartered and the Standard Bank opened offices in New York and Hamburg in the early 1900s. The Chartered Bank gained the first branch license to be issued to a foreign bank in New York.

The impact of war

Even the First World War offered opportunities for expansion when the Standard Bank set up a branch in Tanzania shortly after British troops occupied the formerly German administered Dar es Salaam in September 1916. Both banks survived the inter-war years but the world trade slump led to the closure of operations in the Canary Islands, Liberia, the Netherlands, and Equatorial Guinea. Disaster struck the Chartered Bank's office in Yokohama, Japan, when it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1923 killing a number of staff. The Chartered Bank was particularly effected by the Second World War when numerous Asian countries were occupied by Japan.

The post war years

After the Second World War many countries in Asia and Africa gained their independence. This led to local incorporation in some countries, particularly in Africa. Other operations such as those in Iraq, Angola, Myanmar and Libya were nationalized, while in Indonesia the Jakarta office was destroyed in an attempted coup d'etat. In 1948 the Chartered Bank opened in Bangladesh and during 1957 it acquired the Eastern Bank. The Eastern Bank gave the Chartered Bank a network of branches including Aden (became People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, aka South Yemen, now unified with Arab Republic of Yemen), Bahrain, Beirut, Cyprus, Lebanon, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The Chartered Bank also entered into a joint venture to form the Irano-British Bank which opened for business in 1959. The bank grew rapidly and had 24 branches when it was nationalized in 1981. By the mid 1950s the Standard Bank had around 600 offices in Southern, Central and Eastern Africa. Its network grew substantially in 1965 when it merged with the former Bank of British West Africa which had some 60 branches in Nigeria, 40 branches in Ghana and eleven branches in Sierra Leone in addition to operations in Cameroon and Gambia. Despite these acquisitions and expansion into new countries such as Mexico, South Korea and Oman (1968), both the Standard and Chartered Bank networks were comparatively small. Both viewed the future with some trepidation as the need to protect themselves from acquisition became ever more apparent.

Standard Chartered PLC

In 1969 the decision was made by the Standard Bank and the Chartered Bank to undergo a friendly merger thus forming Standard Chartered PLC. It was one year later that the descendants of the "Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China" were finally permitted to open a representative office in Sydney, Australia. Standard Chartered subsequently acquired the UK based Hodge Group, in which it already had a minority shareholding, and the Wallace Brothers Group. The Hodge Group brought to Standard Chartered an extensive network of UK offices specializing in instalment credit and industrial leasing, and after a period of rationalization its name was changed to Chartered Trust Limited.

Standard Chartered today

Today Standard Chartered is the world's leading emerging markets bank employing 30,000 people in over 500 offices in more than 50 countries primarily in countries in the Asia Pacific Region, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

The new millennium has brought with it two of the largest acquisitions in the history of the bank with the purchase of Grindlays Bank from the ANZ Group and the acquisition of the Chase Consumer Banking operations in Hong Kong in 2000.

These acquisitions demonstrate Standard Chartered firm committed to the emerging markets, where we have a strong and established presence and where we see our future growth.

History of HKD issuance of the Bank:

1865 - 1911

The Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China (w/o "chartered" in Chinese title)

1911 - 1956
The Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China (with "chartered" in Chinese title)

1956 - 1977
The Chartered Bank ("Chartered Bank" Chinese title)

1979 - 1982
The Chartered Bank ("Hong Kong Chartered Bank" Chinese title)

1985 -
Standard Chartered Bank ("Hong Kong Chartered Bank" Chinese title)

From rear to front, Bank of China - Hong Kong Branch, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corperation Limited, and Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Bank appears on the following banknote(s):
HKD P284 1993 10 Dollars
HKD P285 1993 20 Dollars
HKD P286 1993 50 Dollars
HKD P287 1993 100 Dollars
HKD P288 1993 500 Dollars
HKD P289 1993 1000 Dollars
HKD P290 2001 1000 Dollars

Bank of China
Bank of China - Hong Kong Branch
Bank of China - Macau Branch
People's Bank of China
The Central Bank of China
Bank of Taiwan
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corperation Limited
Standard Chartered Bank
Banco Nacional Ultramarino

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