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HSBC set to decide on UK exit

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HSBC is to hold a board meeting this week to decide whether the bank will move its headquarters away from the UK.

The 20-person group board will hold a two-day meeting at the end of the week in Hong Kong to make a decision on the move, a source told the Daily Telegraph.

HSBC, which has been conducting a business review for nine months, moved to the UK from Hong Kong in 1993 after it acquired Midland Bank.

The review was launched last April following concern about the increasing size of the UK bank levy, which cost HSBC $904m (£633m).

At the time, HSBC chairman Douglas Flint said the review would look in to “where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment”.

According to the source, the board has looked into a range of potential domiciles for the bank including a return to Hong Kong, as well as Canada, the US and France.

However, if the bank decides to leave London, only 250 senior employees within legal services and corporate affairs, would need to move.

If a decision is not reached this week, the next board meeting will be in mid-February, ahead of the bank’s full-year results on 22 February.

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. There is a very big part of me that hopes they go !

    Not because of past issues and good riddance, but just to stick two fingers up at the “MAN”

  2. I hope they do go.

    They moved to the UK because they feared confiscation and arbitrary decisions if they stayed in Hong Kong. They came here due to the prevailing view at the time that free enterprise worked, and the UK’s long history of the Rule of Law. Now they are operating in a climate of ‘principles based regulation’ i.e. lawless regulation with arbitrary decisions made by men, not by law.

    Of course, like a lot of people I also see a Big Corporation/Bank (Booo!) and sincerely wish the rest of us could get together and turn round to the UK State and say:
    “Now look here. Either you put the Revenue and the Regulators back on their lead, or we’re off, and you can pay your own welfare bills and build your own veterans hospitals…with a taxbase of losers and claimants.”

  3. There is an awakening regarding domiciles and off shore registration within the UK public at present. If they do go, which frankly I don’t think matters too much, the 250 jobs can be absorbed and by making better tax laws, the UK should immediately cease acting as a tax haven and stop the free-loading mentality enjoyed by corporations for far too long. The focus should be on ensuring if they do go, they pay a fair share of UK tax for business done within our borders anyway. We must stop the idea of registering head office’s for tax breaks as the main consideration anyway as it is ultimately an offensive and immoral attitude to normal citizens of any country who pay personal income tax.
    If ttax collections do not improve for real and not the usual lip service, I for one will be registering my SME offshore too as I have had enough.

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