$1.6 billion is hidden down the back of U. S. sofas.Can't vouch for the statistic. (In the U.K., the comparable sofa treasure is estimated to be the equivalent to $92 million or so.) Still, why quibble over a great attention-grabber?
HSBC is descended from the old Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, founded in Hong Kong – by a Scot, naturally – in 1865. When the Chinese took over Hong Kong in 1997, HSBC had to reinvent itself. Bolstered by acquisitions including the U.K.'s Midland bank and both Marine Midland and Republic National in the U.S., HSBC now bills itself as "The World's Local Bank."
Check out HSBC's history. And take a look at HSBC Private Banking.
Update: The NY Times reports that Credit Suisse has come under heightened scrutiny of authorities in the United States and Germany over its sale of private banking services that enable tax evasion. The Justice Department has also gone after other banks, the article notes, including "HSBC, one of Britain’s largest lenders, which also offers private banking services in Switzerland and elsewhere."