Encouraged by its shareholders, HSBC announced that it ordered a review on Friday to determine whether or not they should relocate their headquarters out of Britain. Although the possibility of moving back to their initial home in Hong Kong is high, a formal
declaration has not been made.
"The board has therefore now asked management to commence work to look at where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment," said HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint on Friday.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the banking giant has disapproved of many regulations imposed on British banks.
Although it is currently unknown when the bank will formally announce its decision, a HSBC official has hinted that it is waiting for the regulatory environment to become clearer.
"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," said Flint.
Another key factor which may prompt the move is the UK law forcing banks to separate retail operations by 2019.
However, if it decides not to move HSBC may reorganize their corporate structure in a $30.37 billion deal, reported The Sunday Times.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) was first established 150 years ago.
Since then it has issued most of Hong Kong’s bank notes, and has made a profit of $24 billion in Hong Kong over the past three years. On the other hand, HSBC has made a loss of $4 billion over the same period in Britain.
While Hong Kong may benefit from the bank's decision to move back to their former home, London’s reputation as a global hub of finance and investment is at stake.
HSBC has declined to make any comment in relation to the proposal.
Immediately after the global investment bank announced its decision to consider the possibility of relocating its headquarters, the banks shares gained value, increasing by 5.9 percent.