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HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA)

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Thursday 19 August, 2004

HSBC Holdings PLC

HSBC disposal in USA

HSBC Holdings PLC
19 August 2004

                        PORTION OF HSBC'S TRUST BUSINESS
                        TO BE ACQUIRED BY ALLIANCE BANK

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and Alliance Bank, N.A. have entered into an agreement for
Alliance Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alliance Financial Corporation, to
acquire part of HSBC Bank's personal trust business, enabling HSBC to focus on
its larger trust accounts. The consideration of US$9.5 million is subject to
adjustment based on the value of the trust assets transferred.

The acquisition, which is pending regulatory approval as well as approval by the
New York State Supreme Court, is expected to close in December 2004.

Gerard Joyce, Senior Vice President for Personal Trust at HSBC Bank USA, said:
"This sale reflects a repositioning of our trust business to target other
segments of the market. Alliance's interest in expanding its trust business
coincided with our desire to redefine our strategy to focus on our larger trust

"We know that our clients will continue to be well served by Alliance and, since
they will be opening an office in Buffalo, our trust administration employees
will be able to continue to do the work they enjoy in the community they love."

Alliance Financial Corporation Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
and bank President and CEO Jack H Webb, said: "We are delighted to have the
opportunity to acquire a business firmly rooted in upstate New York, where we
have been growing our presence."

Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P. represented Alliance Bank and Berkshire Capital
Corporation represented HSBC in the transaction.

Notes to editors:
1. Alliance Bank
Alliance Bank, N.A. is a nearly US$860 million bank, headquartered in Syracuse,
New York with 20 branches in central New York State.

2. The HSBC Group
HSBC Bank USA, N.A., with its main office in Delaware, has nearly 400 branches
in New York State, as well as 11 branches in Florida, six in California, and one
branch each in Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and Panama.

HSBC Bank USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, and a member of
the HSBC Group. Serving over 110 million customers worldwide, the HSBC Group has
approximately 10,000 offices in 76 countries and territories in Europe, the
Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of
US$1,154 billion at 30 June 2004, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and
financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the world's
local bank'.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange