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HSBC set to decide on UK exit

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HSBC is to hold a board meeting this week to decide whether the bank will move its headquarters away from the UK.

The 20-person group board will hold a two-day meeting at the end of the week in Hong Kong to make a decision on the move, a source told the Daily Telegraph.

HSBC, which has been conducting a business review for nine months, moved to the UK from Hong Kong in 1993 after it acquired Midland Bank.

The review was launched last April following concern about the increasing size of the UK bank levy, which cost HSBC $904m (£633m).

At the time, HSBC chairman Douglas Flint said the review would look in to “where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment”.

According to the source, the board has looked into a range of potential domiciles for the bank including a return to Hong Kong, as well as Canada, the US and France.

However, if the bank decides to leave London, only 250 senior employees within legal services and corporate affairs, would need to move.

If a decision is not reached this week, the next board meeting will be in mid-February, ahead of the bank’s full-year results on 22 February.

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