HSBC Holdings, PLC (Symbol: HBC) is a London-based banking and financial services organization that isn't indebted to the British government.  This sets the company apart from several U.K. competitors, like Barclays (BCS), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS-LN), and Lloyds Banking Group (LYG), who have resorted to borrowing. For the full year 2010 ended in December, HSBC reported a total interest income of $80B and a net profit of $14.2B. While HSBC is headquartered in the UK, its operations where impacted by the financial crisis which started in the US. Because it is not an American company, it was not able to receive the same bailout opportunities as American banks and instead relied on British bailout money.
For the full year 2010 ended in December, HSBC reported a total interest income of $80B and a net profit of $14.2B. HSBC Holdings operates in four main business segments. The financial crisis has distorted the net income break down of each segment. The Personal Financial Services, Commercial Banking, and Global Banking & Markets have traditionally earned equal portions of Net Income.
Personal Financial Services provides savings accounts, mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards. Within this segment is the HSBC Premier banking service, which offers 24-hour priority telephone access and free international funds transfer between HSBC accounts.
The Commercial Banking segment offers banking products to corporate, mid-market, small, and micro businesses. These products include financing, cash management, international trade, and investment banking. 
The Global Banking & Markets segment offers financial products to major government, corporate, and institutional clients worldwide. These products include foreign exchange, currency and interest rate derivatives, and private equity managers.
The Private Banking segment offers trustee services to high net worth individuals. These services include cash management, clearing, wealth management, and inheritance planning.
HSBC owns large sets of mortgages which either it purchased or it originated. This makes it dependent on the housing market. An increased rate of foreclosure will cause the company to writeoff mortgages and attempt to sell them on the market. Selling houses becomes more difficult the more that the housing market declines. By contrast, the growth of the housing market allows HSBC's assets to become more reliable and likely to be paid. 
HSBC  historically issued rights to allow existing shareholders to purchase additional securities at a discounted price. This has allowed HSBC to avoid needing government capital, unlike its competitors Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS-LN) and Lloyds Banking Group (LYG), giving investors more confidence in HSBC. While issuing rights to prevent HSBC from raising capital, the company no longer has any rights to offer and so if it needs more capital, it will be forced to borrow from the government.
As a U.K. based bank, HSBC is relatively insulated from U.S. crisises. However, U.K. banks have U.S. commercial real estate exposures -- in the form of loans and other debt mortgage-backed securities (MBS). So hardships in the U.S. housing market and banks suffering losses due to subprime lending in turn causes foreign banks to suffer losses. However, because the UK tends to react after the US market has, this means that US banks are sometimes able to rise out of recessions sooner than UK based banks.