Bank takes local aim


One of the worlds largest financial groups recently assumed an Alexandria residency. To be exact, the group already held one location in Alexandria across the globe in Egypts second-largest city.

In fact, the  John Carlyle Street branch is just one of more than 10,000 HSBC Holdings PLC locations spanning across 83 countries of the globe, including more than 460 branches in the United States.

The group, known as the worlds local bank, moved into the Alexandria location and quickly took to warming up to the area, hiring a diverse, local staff seven different languages are spoken among their nine employees, including: Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Bahasa, Russian, Spanish and German and hosting various local events to attract business.

Since opening in November 2007, we have really become part of the community, said Shayleen Spencer, Vice President and Branch Manager of HSBCs Alexandria branch office.  Alexandria is a perfect match for HSBC.
During the last few months, HSBC hosted various local events, including wine tasting tours, and an upcoming book reading by global careers expert, Stacie Nevadomski Berdan on March 25.

The HSBC international network hopes to leave a global footprint on the area by offering a wide range of financial services, including personal financial services, commercial banking, corporate, investment banking and markets, private banking and other activities.

The Alexandria branch also hopes its local representation will attract customers.
We are in 83 different countries but we are also in Alexandria, Business Relationship Manager John Villar says. And its very important to know that when we say the worlds local bank, we do hire local people to represent the area.

To go along with the seven different languages spoken in the Alexandria branch, Villar himself is a longtime resident of the area, having graduated from West Potomac High School in 1987.

When not working for HSBC, Villar serves as President of the Alexandria Sportsmans Club, a non-profit, sports-oriented, civic club organized to recognize and reward local high school athletes for excellence in sports and proficiency in the classroom by providing scholarships. After raising more than $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societys Team-In-Training, Villar is currently in competition alongside other nominees to raise money for the association, and be crowned Man of the Year in June.

To go along with leaving a global footprint on the area, in October HSBC announced a $90,000 donation to Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA), as part of the Theres No Small Change green campaign. The campaign was designed with the belief that one person can make a world of difference in reducing their environmental footprint. When the campaign ran from April through June of 2007, HSBC allocated up to $1 million to local environmental organizations, such as FONA, each time a new customer enrolled in a financial product.

Villar hopes that potential customers will be drawn in by their international resources, community involvement and staff comprised of the locations diverse make-up.

This is a very international community, Villar said. So when youre looking for a different in-shade from other national banks, thats where we can really set ourselves aside.