HSBC threaten to leave UK

9 November 2011


HSBC say that they're the 'world's local bank', but that may not be the case on the shores of Britain for much longer as the bank has threatened to leave the UK thanks to new regulations.

Europe's biggest bank has reported a 36 percent fall in third quarter profits thanks to the euro zone debt crisis, with investment bank income being hit and bad debts jumping up to almost $1 billion in the United States as people stopped paying their mortgages.

With extra British regulations likely to cost them $2.5 billion a year, this could leave the banking giant looking at the UK and thinking that it is too big a price to stay, with a move back to Hong Kong on the cards.

It's reported that HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver aims to cut annual costs by $3.5 billion and focus the bank future on Asia, quitting countries where the bank lacks scale in an attempt to, well, make more money.

"The outlook for the global economy is very challenging as problems in developed markets begin to affect growth rates around the world," Gulliver said. Gulliver added that governments requiring banks to hold substantial debt that can absorb losses if it hits trouble could force HSBC to issue $55 billion of senior debt, at an annual cost of $2.1 billion, on top of the $400 million on its overseas assets under a UK bank levy.

HSBC has had its headquarters in the UK for the past 18 years.

TOPICS:   Investments   Banking


  • Dick
    So does this mean new adverts for the walls at Heathrow?
  • Jeebus
    Posted by Dick • November 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm So does this mean new adverts for the walls at Heathrow? I should fucking hope so. They probably spend more on that shit than they pay in tax anyway.
  • Delenn
    Bye. Wanna take any of your banker mates from other companies with you?
  • Haggis
    Empty threat, as long as there's profit to be made here they'd be daft to leave. And 'regulations' imposed by a Conservative government certainly aren't going to make banking unprofitable.
  • callum
    Delenn and Haggis - You clearly have no concept of how banking works. It's not about whether it's profitable or not - it's about whether it's more profitable elsewhere. HSBC won't withdraw from the UK market - that would be stupid. They will just move their headquarters, and therefore much of their tax liability, over to Hong Kong. The branches will still be here, many of the bankers will still be here, the money they generate won't be. But no, go ahead and carry on with your ridiculous "I HATE THE BANKS!!!" spiel and see what happens when they all leave and take the £5bn+ they pay in tax each year with them.
  • Yue
    The five billion they pay in tax? The five billion they screw out of customers? The five billion that was bail out money? The five billion doesn't exist, they avoid tax by offsetting losses. Seems to me if they leave someone will come in and take all of the business. Empty, empty threats.
  • Captain C.
    It is their own fault, they have been screwing their customers (like me) on international exchange rates/transactions, so we have been finding cheaper ways of moving our money around. If they return to using the international exchange rate, I (for one), MAY start using their services again. As for moving their HQ abroad, that is a bit of a joke; can anyone remember what HSBC actually stands for??? Their are about as British a company as Heinz or Toyota.
  • Chools
    Banking was built on trust, trust is now long gone and so should many of the banks. If the people now own or have a majority share in many banks, why is it that there are still so many branches on the High Street? One bank would do nicely, and the rest should give us our money back and close down
  • Bill B.
    So are they going to commit the ultimate act of banking arsery and sell all the First Direct customers to Santander?
  • The B.
    Captain Cretin, although they are Midland Bank, who got shafted in the US during the 80's and never recovered. I love it when all of the anti bank crowd come out, it's great to watch them wave goodbye to the tax generated by the bank, not just the bank but the tax and NI it's staff pay which pays everyone's NHS and benefits. The loss of thousands of jobs (but the traders will all move to Hong Kong, the lesser, more replaceable mortals will be booted), still, feel free to shout good riddance at another industry from the UK.
  • JonB
    Personally I'd be sad to see them go. I've been with First Direct for 12 years and they've always had great customer service and products. I don't think they'll get rid of their branches here, but they will obviously not be as focused on the UK market as they have been if they move elsewhere.
  • TimB
    They leave the UK, I leave them. On a serious note, companies need to be told that dumping UK jobs will cost them UK customers. People need to stop pointing the finger at 'bloody immigrants, coming over here, taking our jobs' and start looking at the large companies taking our jobs and selling them to the lowest bidder, which is never going to be the UK. It's time we started to insist that the money we pay to UK companies actually goes to UK workers.
  • Brian's U.
    Short sighted banking hating people make me laugh. Banks employ thousands of people who do not earn million pound bonus. If the banks leave the country and start closing down offices these people will be made redundant and in this current job climate will find it hard to find another job thus adding more strain to the welfare system. Do you still want them to leave? If so then you are bigger idiots than I credit you for. Deliberate banking pun there.
  • klingelton
    You can't blame people for becoming a product of the media they read and hear. Unfortunately our media has painted the banks in a very negative light of recent years.
  • Dick
    TimB - "It’s time we started to insist that the money we pay to UK companies actually goes to UK workers." This is a really good sentiment. The problem is what happens when all the companies are "bad" companies, or when there are one or two "good" companies that do right by us as a nation, but charge us as individual users much more than a "bad" company? I reckon most people would stick with the bad to be better off individually, rather than the good to be better off as a nation but worse off individually.
  • Haggis
    @ Callum. You clear have no knowledge of how business works in a global economy. There is only a finite worldwide market. HSBC reaches much of this. Why on earth would they cut off part of this market whilst it's still profitable. You sir are a buffoon.
  • The b.
    For the bank lovers and haters please look at this website: Real Bob you know jack shit:
  • Mark H.
    @ klingelton A negative light which you believe is completely undeserved? Years down the line the mistakes and near fraud that the people who run the worlds banks carried out is still to be sorted out. I suspect a decade down the line the repercussions will still be felt. The most worrying aspect however is that nothing serious has been done to stop it from all happening again.
  • The B.
    @The Real Bob is talking bollocks - So you're denying that losing the huge building in Canary Wharf containing th0usands of employees would be a huge hit to the economy? That the tax the staff pay would in no way affect the economy? The money the staff spend? The NI input? Reduction of trade in the area. I could go on but you've so completely ignored my point that I figure it'd be like talking to a brick wall. It's a simple premise, currently we're the financial head of Europe which puts us in a very strong position, we start losing banks, we lose our role in Europe, the economy goes to shit, we've got bugger all manufacturing, what do you think happens to the UK economy?
  • Midunni
    @captain cretin H: Hongkong S: Shanghai B: Banking C: Corperation Doesn't sound very British to me? (a New Zealander) I think I'm missing the point
  • Nobel H.
    Goodbye and good riddance you crap bank and take your adolescent branch managers with you. You should have never left the shores of shanghai
  • go c.
    wonderful post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector do not understand this. You must proceed your writing. I'm sure, you've a great readers' base already!
  • B
    Let em leave, who care's
  • Bradley
    I wanna know where does the £5billion in TAX actually go? does it go to killing innocent people in foreign countries? where does it go?? it doesnt go to regeneration of UK services, transport, healthcare, homes, quality of life etc. Where does all our TAX money go? there really needs to be a better system in place because not only is the ordinary person in the UK getting shafted but ordinary folk around the globe are getting shafted too.
  • ptc, g.
    I?m now not sure the place you're getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or working out more. Thanks for excellent information I was in search of this information for my mission.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment