November 11, 1875, HSBC established its first branch in Binondo, Manila
The company opened in Hong Kong on 3 March 1865 and in Shanghai one month later. As part of the company’s “branchin out” and following the flow of commerce, it expanded rapidly, establishing branches in ports such as Yokohama (1866), Kolkata (1867), Ho Chi Minh City (1870) and Manila (1875).
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) branch in the Philippines was located in Binondo, Manila, and was established on November 11, 1875, thus becoming the first foreign bank in the Philippines.
In 1919 an HSBC building was built in Juan Luna St. Binondo, Manila. It was inaugurated on September 22, 1922 with Acting Governor-General of the Philippines Charles Emmett Yeater doing the honors.
The present owner of the building pledged that the edifice will not be demolished. He transformed the it into a restaurant on the ground and second floors and the rest of the floors will be for office spaces for lease. The restaurant named 1919 Grand Cafe opened in 2018 at the HSBC Building at 117 Juan Luna Street.
The facade and the interiors look very contemporary but one can clearly see elements of that connect to the building’s original structure and its history.