Hong KONG /XIANGGANG/, February 15. /Corr. Alexander Zyuzin/. The largest Bank of Europe HSBC has abandoned the idea of moving our headquarters back to Hong Kong and decided to leave her in London. This is stated in the message Bank group, issued on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
“The Board of Directors of HSBC has completed the consideration of the question of what place is best to host the group’s head office, and decided to keep it in the UK. The decision was taken unanimously,” – said in a statement.
The feasibility of the move
Last year the banking giant has set out to examine the advisability of transferring the headquarters from London to another point. In the first place, reviewed the prospects for its return back to Hong Kong (where the Bank was established 151 years ago. Corr.). The idea was motivated by the tightening of taxation in the banking system in the UK and the need to reduce costs. But in the end the Bank refused such a step, on the basis that “London is ideally located to serve as a base for a global financial institution like HSBC”.
According to analysts, the decision could have an impact that in July last year the Minister of Finance of great Britain George Osborne announced plans for a gradual reduction of the tax on banking activity for the sake of the country “remained an attractive place” for financial institutions.
The pivot toward Asia
At the same time, in a statement, HSBC emphasizes that pivot to Asia “remains in the spotlight” strategy of the banking group.
We are talking about plans of increase of investment activity in the region of Pearl river Delta (one of the leading economic and industrial centers in China, located in the southern Guangdong province – approx. correspondent.) and in the countries of the ASEAN (Association of South – East Asia).
“Having the headquarters in the UK and significant business in the Asia-Pacific region – all this brings a dual benefit to our shareholders,” managing Director of HSBC Stuart Gulliver.
Roots in Hong Kong
NWS Bank (The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) was founded in 1865 in Hong Kong to Finance trade between China and Europe. In 1993 the headquarters of the Bank was transferred from here to London. However, a significant percentage of the company’s revenues still came from the Asia-Pacific region.
Since the banking group usually raised the issue of the location of its headquarters every three years. Now, however, the Board of Directors came to the conclusion that I will return to this discussion only when a “significant change of circumstances”.
The reaction of the authorities of Hong Kong
“We respect the Bank’s decision to leave the headquarters in London,” said today the head of the Monetary authority of Hong Kong’s Norman Chan. He recognized that moving such a large international financial institution – “presents significant difficulties”.