HSBC has warned that it may move its headquarters away from London if the UK government does decide to break up the big banks.
The head of the group’s investment banking division Stuart Gulliver said at a banking conference that he was “genuinely concerned” that the UK’s banking commission would recommend a splitting of the banks.
Gulliver said: “That has significant implications clearly for where we may choose to headquarter our institution.”
The UK government set up the independent banking commission in June giving it the task of considering possible reforms for the banking system. It is also looking at other structural reforms, like breaking up high street banks to improve competition.
Gulliver said the group would like to remain in the UK but also highlighted the fact that no other country was looking at breaking up banks in response to the financial crises.
HSBC initially moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to London in 1991.