Grey and BBDO are understood to be lining up against incumbent JWT for the £400m HSBC global creative account.
It is understood that JWT will be up against its sister WPP shop Grey as well as the BBDO network, led by Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO in the UK.
The successful agency or agencies are expected to work on a new strapline for the bank, which is yet to settle on a global strategy after deciding to scrap ‘the world’s local bank’.
When questioned about the agencies who are understood to be on the creative shortlist a spokeswoman for HSBC declined to comment further than the statement put out when the news of the review broke.
The HSBC spokeswoman said: "HSBC has begun a review of its strategic advertising and media partners, which is expected to conclude at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
"This closed review, in which participation is by invitation only, is not a creative ‘beauty parade’ and HSBC is not conducting any such pitch review. HSBC will not comment on the process of the review or the participants."
WPP won the creative and media global pitch for HSBC’s business in May 2004 with a "team HSBC" proposition, ending the bank's relationships with Interpublic’s Lowe and Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia.