HSBC again hints at quitting UK headquarters
HSBC has again hinted it may quit the UK after claiming tighter regulation could cost $2.5billion a year.
The Canary Wharf-based bank announced a 36 per cent fall in its third quarter profits this morning, largely due to its exposure to the Eurozone debt crisis and a rise of $1million in US bad debts.
Underlying profits were $3billion, a drop of $1.6billion on the corresponding quarter last year.
Chief executive Stuart Gulliver warned that the impending requirements on UK-based banks to hold increased funds could force it to relocate its headquarters to Hong Kong, particularly as it is looking to increase its Asian operations.
He said: "You get to a $2.5 billion cost for being UK headquartered. This is a non-trivial decision, you don't move your head office on a regular basis.
Mr Gulliver said the decision would not be made at this month's board meeting, and was likely be taken in the next year to 18 months, while HSBC's retail bank would "always" be based in the UK.