HSBC will remain in London after board makes final decision on bank HQ
HSBC's board has voted to remain in the UK in a decision that draws a line under almost a year of uncertainty over the future of Europe’s biggest bank.
In a decision deemed a "vote of confidence in the government’s economic plan" by the Treasury, HSBC bosses have ruled out fears the bank would quit Britain for a country with a less strict regulatory environment.
There has been speculation over HSBC’s domicile ever since the bank announced last April that it had launched a review into where it should be based.
The lender, which has founded in Hong Kong in 1865, has been headquartered in Britain since its 1992 takeover of Midland Bank and a decision to leave the UK would have dealt a blow to George Osborne, the chancellor.
HSBC’s 20-strong board spent the day locked in a meeting in London to make a final decision on whether or not to leave the UK.
Business leaders and policymakers breathed a sigh of relief at the news. A Treasury spokesman said: “The [board has] looked carefully and dispassionately at the facts and confirmed that the UK is the best place to base a global business.”
Carolyn Fairbairn, director of the Confederation of British Industry, said HSBC’s decision showed that Britain needs to stay competitive on regulation and tax. She said: “Strong banks which can provide the finance businesses need to grow are critical for the British economy.