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New Yorkers Discover the World's Potential in Unexpected Places

1 September 2010

New York, NY – HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (“HSBC Bank”) today unveils new “out-of-home” (OOH) advertisements that makes use of first-ever placements in unexpected places on the streets of New York. From nautical cleats and coin-operated binoculars at the South Street Seaport to halal food carts and flower planters citywide, objects large and small are repurposed to become the center “image” of new ads from the bank’s “Unlocking the World’s Potential” campaign. The objects are “framed” by surprising global insights and facts, and the proposition that New Yorkers “discover the world’s potential with a bank that knows how to find it,” as the ads’ tag line proclaims.

HSBC Bank created the new campaign in partnership with JWT and Kinetic, a subsidiary of Mindshare, to engage the New York City Parks Department and other organizations including South Street Seaport and the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, to identify and secure unique OOH placements. Starting today, the HSBC ads will pop up in such unexpected places as

  • South Street Seaport: flower planters, nautical cleats, manhole covers and coin-operated binoculars, among others
  • Bryant Park: light posts, water fountains, magazine stands, among others
  • Greeley Park in Herald Square: trees; recycling bins, subway entrances, among others
  • Around New York City: pedicabs, storefronts, bus shelters, food carts, and more
  • Upstate New York: gas stations in Buffalo, Albany and Rochester, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo, and Crossgates Mall in Albany, NY

“In keeping with our platform as ‘The world’s local bank,’ we launched this campaign to share with New Yorkers our perspective of the world as full of diverse potential,” said Johanna Breman Tzur, Head of HSBC Brand & Advertising, North America. “In today’s marketplace, with ever increasing economic, social and cultural interconnectedness, our global orientation has never been more relevant for consumers and businesses that see a world of possibilities. We’re helping U.S. customers manage their money and do business in all 88 countries and territories where we operate.”

Some of the more surprising facts in the ad copy highlight insights about New York and its relationship with countries where HSBC does business. Such as:

  • Halal carts outnumber hot dog carts three to one in NYC
  • Thirty percent of 2009 imports into the New York area ports came from China - more than Italy, India, Germany and Brazil combined
  • At approximately one penny per gallon, NYC water is 1,000 times cheaper than bottled water
  • NYC’s high rate of public transit saves nearly 2 billion gallons of oil every year
  • NYC is home to the same number of Chinese-language daily newspapers (seven) as English dailies
  • Nearly 60 percent of all flowers imported to the U.S. come from Colombia

The ads’ use of unexpected facts builds upon the Bank’s promotion of its June 2010 Wimbledon program at Rockefeller Center. QR codes were posted at the venue and included in print ads promoting the week of activities that brought Wimbledon to life for New Yorkers. When scanned with a smart phone, the QR codes unlocked tournament facts and videos. The new OOH ads extend the global “Unlocking the World’s Potential” campaign where HSBC first shared globally oriented facts and insights in print, TV and online placements, such as:

  • Two-thirds of the people who have ever reached 65 are alive today
  • $1.6 billion is hidden down the back of U.S sofas
  • Five times more people are learning English in China than there are people in England

HSBC has a sustained focus on innovative “out-of-home” campaigns. The July 2009 “Soapbox” campaign invited New Yorkers to stand atop actual soapboxes in Madison Square Park and share their values on topics like immigration and marriage, with the footage appearing on Additionally, HSBC has created an iconic presence in airports around the world with its thought-provoking jetway ads.

Editors note

About HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

HSBC Bank USA , National Association operates more than 470 bank branches throughout the United States. There are over 375 in New York state as well as branches in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, California, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon and Washington State.  HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC USA Inc. is one of the nation's largest bank holding companies by assets.  HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of the FDIC.

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