HSBC to review headquarters location, newspaper report claims

17 August 2010

HSBC is to review the suitability of London as a location for its headquarters, a newspaper report has claimed.

According to the Independent, the financial services provider is thought to be contemplating a move away due to the UK coalition government’s promise of tighter regulation and tax rises for the banking industry.

The authorities launched a consultation on a tax on bank balance sheets earlier in the year while the one off tax on banker bonuses levied by the previous Labour government has generated £2.5 billion.

A review of the location for HSBC's headquarters takes place every three years and is set to go ahead again in 2011.

An unnamed source told the newspaper: "HSBC is a significantly profitable business. All these changes to the tax rules have meant that it could look at its location quite seriously.”

Speculation about the importance of London to the investment bank has been ongoing since Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of the finanacial institution, relocated to Hong Kong.

However, when the bank revealed its financial results for the first six months of the year, Mr Geoghegan said that HSBC continues to benefit from being UK-based.

HSBC reported a profit of $11.1 billion for the first six months of 2010, a figure twice as high as the amount recorded during the same period the previous year.

By Jim Ottewill

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