LONDON: Britain’s biggest bank is staying put. HSBC Holdings plc said it will keep its headquarters in London, ending a 10-month process in which one of the world’s largest financial companies considered moving to Hong Kong to get closer to its centre of gravity in fast-growing Asian economies.
“I think we’ve ended up with the best of both worlds,” HSBC chairman Douglas Flint told the BBC on Monday. “A pivot to Asia, led from London.” Flint said that HSBC was, at its heart, a bank focused on trade and investment flows.
Sidestepping concerns about the recent volatility in Asian markets, Flint said it had been a privilege to choose between two of the world’s great financial centres and that the decision was not based on short-term market dynamics.
“The UK is one of the most globally connected economies in the world with a fantastic regulatory system and legal system and immense experience in dealing with international affairs,” he said.
The bank launched the review last April in light of regulatory and tax changes implemented by the UK after the 2008 financial crisis.
Particularly problematic was a 2010 tax on a bank’s global balance sheet, which penalised those with global operations such as HSBC and Standard Chartered. Fears that Britain would vote to leave the European Union also heightened concerns.
HSBC’s decision was a relief to the government, which feared losing a pillar of Britain’s financial world.
Courtesy : Dawn News