Wardley House/HSBC Headquarters Building (1st Generation) [1857-1882]
From the Bank's website:
The bank owed its origins to the business communities of the China coast in the 1860s. At that time, the finance of trade in the region was not well developed and most transactions were still handled by the European trading houses, or hongs, rather than by professional banks. By the early 1860s, local businessmen needed larger and more sophisticated facilities. In Hong Kong, in particular, business leaders required specialist banking services — preferably from a bank that was locally owned and managed.
The founding of the bank in 1865 answered this need. The new company was the inspiration of Thomas Sutherland, then the Hong Kong Superintendent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, who produced a prospectus for a locally based bank operating on sound ‘Scottish banking principles’. The prospectus attracted the support of a broad spectrum of Hong Kong interests, including American and Indian trading houses as well as European firms, and the initial capital of HK$5 million was quickly taken up in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Calcutta. On this basis, the bank opened for business in Hong Kong on 3 March 1865. Then, as now, the bank’s headquarters were at 1 Queen’s Road. One month later, on 3 April 1865, the bank’s Shanghai office opened for business.