HSBC again denies talks of relocation


HSBC, which is Europe’s largest bank, has once again denied rumours that it is planning to relocate its UK headquarters to Hong Kong.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph quoted an unnamed, investor as saying “we were told that a move [to Hong Kong] is now more than likely”.

However, the bank has refuted the claims saying the report is “speculative and presumptuous”.

Last September, there was speculation that the banking giant was considering moving its UK headquarters but at the time, outgoing chairman Stephen Green, confirmed the bank will stay in London.

The bank has a significant presence in Asia, which has led many to believe the bank would one day move its headquarters to Hong Kong.

Other banks have also recently suggested they may consider relocating after the Government imposed taxes on them.

HSBC criticised the new UK bank levy - which would have seen them pay around £370 million, had it been in place last year.

Standard Chartered recently said it was looking to free itself from stricter regulations in the UK by considering relocating to the Far East.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement today, HSBC’s chairman Douglas Flint and chief executive Stuart Gulliver, said: “London continues to be widely recognised as one of the world’s leading international financial centres, a position it has built over many decades through deliberate policy action. We have been very clear that it is our preference to remain headquartered [here].”

HSBC was founded in 1885 in Hong Kong, it moved its headquarters to London in the early 1990s after its acquisition of Midland Bank.

In related news, last week, the bank posted pre-tax profits of $19 billion (£11.8 billion) for the 2010 year, compared with $7.1 billion for the 2009 year.

While the banking giant saw profits double, the results disappointed investors as they were slightly below the $20 billion analysts had expected.

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