Britain’s biggest bank HSBC is to keep its headquarters in the UK following nearly a year of speculation.
The BBC reports the bank – which makes most of its profits in Asia – has decided to stay in London because the city “offered the best outcome for our customers and shareholders”.
In April 2015 chairman Douglas Flint revealed HSBC had begun its three year review of head office location, delayed by the splitting of the FSA into the FCA and PRA.
But speaking this morning Flint said: “The UK is one of the most globally connected economies in the world with a fantastic regulatory system and legal system and immense experience in dealing with international affairs.
“The Government’s made very clear its commitment to ensuring that that UK remains a leading international financial centre… We’ve ended up with the best of both worlds – a pivot to Asia led from London.”
HSBC had been paying around £1bn a year through the banking levy – which raised around £2bn a year in total – before the Government changed how it was calculated in 2015.
Flint said: “It was important that there was a change in the scope of the levy”.
“A levy based on an international balance sheet was a disincentive for a global group, and we made that point ever since the start of the levy. It was good to see that the scope of the levy changed to being a domestic impost, and that was important.”
However HSBC denies it negotiated with the Government to lower its levy costs.
In June 2015 the bank confirmed plans for job cuts of up to 25,000 globally, including 8,000 in the UK.