The decision is in — global bank HSBC is keeping its headquarters in London, putting an end to the possibility of their moving back to Hong Kong probably for good.
HSBC reportedly came to the unanimous decision in a board meeting on Sunday, releasing a statement soon after. Here’s an excerpt:
The UK is an important and globally connected economy. It has an internationally respected regulatory framework and legal system, and immense experience in handling complex international affairs. 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.
And so it will remain for the foreseeable future, apparently, the board concluding it “not necessary to continue the previous practice of reviewing the location of the Group’s headquarters every three years.”
Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority is taking it well, though. “The HKMA appreciates that for a large international bank such as HSBC, relocation of domicile is a very major and complicated undertaking,” said chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam.
The decision is no surprise to experts, who have believed politics to be the primary motivator behind the bank’s choices since it got the hell out in 1993. Indeed, in response to the speculated move back, a HSBC insider recently questioned if Hong Kong in its current state would be “a suitable base for an independent-minded, top global financial institution.” Aside from that tea, the Board is in recent cahoots with former US secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice.
Currently the biggest bank in Europe, HBSC was originally founded in Hong Kong in 1865 and operated there until the early ’90s. Analysts recently predicted that the bank’s return to its homeland could save it $14 billion. But it would seem that to the company, there are other costs to consider.