Business / Companies

HSBC defers relocation decision until next year, Telegraph says

By Chris Peterson ( Updated: 2015-11-24 21:35

HSBC, the world's fourth-largest bank by assets, is putting off a decision on moving its headquarters until next year, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing the bank.

HSBC, formerly the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., had been planning to announce whether it would be moving its domicile to Hong Kong, China or possibly the US in December, but a row between major investors over the possible move has delayed any decision, the newspaper said.

David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life, HSBC's 12 biggest shareholder with a 1.06 percent stake, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that HSBC should leave the UK because of increased bank regulation, the Telegraph said.

Filippo Alloatti, a fund manager at Hermes which is a large investor in HSBC debt, said the UK tax regime had improved since Chancellor George Osborne promised to trim the bank levy, and told the Telegraph: "I don"t think they will shift their HQ away from the UK. Being domiciled in the UK comes at a cost, but banks are subject to regulatory scrutiny you don't have in China or Hong Kong."

HSBC moved its headquarters from Hong Kong in 1992 when it acquired the UK's Midland Bank, but has considered moving back to Hong Kong because of tougher regulation in London, higher taxes on banks, and the fact that it has been increasingly focusing on business in China and other parts of Asia.

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