HSBC Bank Canada Becomes Newest Strategic Associate Of Commonwealth Advantage
July 12, 2006

Ottawa, July 12, 2006 - HSBC Bank Canada has become the newest Strategic Associate of the Commonwealth Advantage, a Canadian organization that works to develop international trade ties among the 53 Commonwealth countries.

"We are delighted to welcome HSBC Bank Canada as a Strategic Associate of Commonwealth Advantage. As the leading international financial services company and the #1 trade bank in Canada, HSBC Bank Canada is well placed to offer banking services to businesses entering the Canadian market," said Commonwealth Advantage President The Honourable Sinclair Stevens.

"We are pleased to be joining the Commonwealth Advantage organization," said HSBC Bank Canada Chief Operating Officer Sean O'Sullivan. "HSBC Bank Canada opened its doors in 1981 with a single office. We have since grown to over 170 offices and are celebrating our 25th anniversary in Canada. We are looking forward to working with other members of the organization as they expand their businesses within the Commonwealth and around the world."

HSBC Bank Canada, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. and HSBC Bank Mexico recently launched a joint NAFTA-oriented Global Transaction Banking Service. This service helps multinational companies conducting business in all three markets simplify their Trade Service requirements and provides products and services to meet all of their banking needs.

"In considering Canada's greatest growth opportunities the Commonwealth is second only to NAFTA for Canadian firms," said Mr. Stevens. "It has 13 of the world's fastest-growing economies, one-third of the world's population, and a combined GDP and business asset base equivalent to that of the United States. And having similar language, banking, accounting and legal systems, and parliamentary government eases some of the uncertainty of trading among these countries".

"Knowledge-based services like finance are a key strength for Canadian exports and investments," added Mr. Stevens. To provide some perspective on how much banking activities contributed to Canada's economic growth, deposit-taking institutions represented 3.2 per cent of this country's gross domestic product in 2005, more than the entire transportation equipment and motor vehicle manufacturing industries.

For more information:

Barry Gander
EVP
The Commonwealth Advantage
(613) 220-1368
bgander@cata.ca

Sharon Wilks
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
HSBC Bank Canada
(416) 868-3878

About the Commonwealth Advantage
The Commonwealth Advantage was founded in Canada as a private-sector, member-based association that seeks to lever ties within Commonwealth countries to build practical business advantages for businesses. The Commonwealth Advantage is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Royal Commonwealth Society of Toronto Foundation and the Toronto Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Commonwealth Advantage provides a unique ability to bridge barriers to international trade and promote successful global business strategies. It works in partnership in Canada with the country's largest high-tech business organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, which has 22,000 members. Founding partners of the Commonwealth Advantage program are: Magna International Inc. of Aurora; McMillan Binch Mendelsohn of Toronto; Clifford Chance of the U.K., Pinetree Capital Ltd. of Toronto; Aithent Technologies of Delhi, India and Toronto; and TCS Courier Service of Karachi, Pakistan and Toronto. For more information about The Canadian Commonwealth Advantage, please visit: http://www.cata.ca/commonwealth.