HSBC Declines Hong Kong – Stays in London

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By Jacob Maslow

Global banking giant HSBC (LON: HSBA) has decided to stay out and keep its headquarters in London, turning down the opportunity to move to Hong Kong.

Europe’s largest bank has been the subject of rumour recently, with whispers on the street that it would relocate its headquarters to Hong Kong amidst increasing UK regulations and a possible split from the European Union in an upcoming referendum.

A spokesman said that London was “ideally located”, but elaborated no further on the issue other than to say the international talent pool in London was attractive to the firm and played a factor in the decision.

The decision comes at the end of a long review process which began in April last year, weeks before the UK general election, with the bank signalling that it had concerns over increasing banking regulations and calls for reform from the British public.

Some analysts have speculated that the decision may have been influenced by the slowdown in China and the pressure Hong Kong banks are currently under. Many of Hong Kong’s largest financial institutions are down over 20% or more from the beginning of the year, and there are concerns over the banking sector in general in the region.

Whatever the reason, HSBC has decided to stay out for now and remain in what is largely regarded to be the financial capital of the world.

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