HSBC is keeping its headquarters in London, not moving to Hong Kong

HSBC announced that it is keeping its headquarters in London and will not move to Hong Kong, putting an end to months of uncertainty about the future of the company.

The decision of HSBC’s Board of Directors was unanimous.

The banking giant confirmed its decision to stay in the UK after a comprehensive review into a potential move out of Britain which was fueled by concerns of stricter regulations.

“The decision of the Board was unanimous,” HSBC said in a statement following a meeting in London.

“London is one of the world’s leading international financial centres and home to a large pool of highly skilled, international talent. It remains therefore ideally positioned to be the home base for a global financial institution such as HSBC”.

HSBC headquarters, London, 8 Canada Square
HSBC headquarters, London, 8 Canada Square

The review came down to either staying in the UK or moving to Hong Kong.

The bank added: “The UK itself is also positioned to be the leading western financial centre supporting the internationalisation of the renminbi, is growing its trade and investment flows with China, and is building co-operation in key areas of infrastructure financing, ‘green’ bond financing and mutual access to traded markets. HSBC is actively involved and a leader in all these areas.”

Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC, said that keeping the bank’s HQ in London whilst bringing in plenty of Asian business “delivers the best of both worlds to shareholders”.

Gulliver said: “Having our headquarters in the UK and our significant business in Asia Pacific delivers the best of both worlds to our stakeholders.

“The completion of this review closes out one of the 10 strategic actions we set out at our Investor Update last June. My colleagues and I remain totally focused on completing the other nine actions.”

Commenting on this decision HSBC Group Chairman, Douglas Flint, said:

“As we evaluated jurisdictions against the specified criteria, it became clear that the combination of our strategic focus on Asia and maintaining our hub in one of the world’s leading international financial centres, London, was not only compatible, but offered the best outcome for our customers and shareholders. We are very grateful for the hard work and insight of so many who helped in this complex exercise.”

HSBC’s board also said that it will stop reviewing the location of the bank’s headquarters every three years. Instead, it will only revisit the matter if there is a “material change in circumstances”.

The Treasury welcomed the bank’s decision.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “It’s a vote of confidence in the government’s economic plan, and a boost to our goal of making the UK a great place to do more business with China and the rest of Asia,”