Press Release
Approval of Application by HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Overseas Holdings (UK) Ltd and U.S. Subsidiaries
August 18, 2006

NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Friday approved the application by HSBC Holdings plc and HSBC Overseas Holdings (UK) Limited, both of London, United Kingdom, and their U.S. holding company subsidiaries, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., Prospect Heights, Illinois; HSBC Investments (North America) Inc., Wilmington, Delaware; HSBC North America Inc., Buffalo, New York; and HSBC USA Inc., New York, New York, to acquire HSBC National Bank (USA), a de novo national bank subsidiary, of Bethesda, Maryland, pursuant to Section 3(a)(3) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended.

According to standard procedure, the proposal cannot be completed sooner than 15 days, or later than three months, from the date of this announcement.

The Reserve Bank acted under authority delegated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.