April 20, 2015 / 12:37 PM / 3 years ago

HSBC to look at best place for HQ when 'mist lifts' on regulation

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) will look at whether to move its headquarters from London once the regulatory environment becomes clearer, the chairman of Europe’s biggest bank said on Monday.

The HSBC building is seen in the background as the green man flashes at a pedestrian crossing in East London April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

“We are beginning to see the final shape of regulation, the final shape of structural reform and as soon as that mist lifts sufficiently we will once again start to look at where the best place for HSBC is,” Douglas Flint said.

The comments, confirmed by HSBC, were made at an informal shareholder meeting in Hong Kong on Monday after an investor raised the issue of whether it should move.

HSBC and Standard Chartered (STAN.L), which is also based in London but makes most of its profits in Asia, are looking at the feasibility of quitting London for a new home in Asia because a big jump in the special tax levied on UK banks makes staying in Britain increasingly painful, people familiar with matter have told Reuters.

Several investors have said they want the two banks to do a thorough analysis on whether it makes sense to move. HSBC moved its domicile from Hong Kong to London in 1993.

Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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