06 Mar '11, 5am

HSBC mulls moving HQ to Hong Kong

LONDON: Asia-focused banking giant HSBC is considering quitting London for Hong Kong in a shock move, said The Sunday Telegraph newspaper. Britain's biggest bank, which has been headquartered in London for 19 years, has warned key investors that it is looking at moving to Hong Kong due to the levels of tax and red tape, the broadsheet said. The group was founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865 and the bank regards Asia as its most important region. If HSBC left, it would be a severe blow to the British government which is relying on a private-sector-led economic recovery, The Sunday Telegraph said. It survived the financial crisis without needing a government bailout. The newspaper said it paid £1.2 billion ($2 billion, 1.4 billion euros) in British taxes last year and employs 52,000 people. "HSBC has a review of its domicile every three years. Normally it's a formality....

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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