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HSBC to stay put in London

hsbc15febHSBC has decided to retain its headquarters in Britain and does not intend to move to another center. The bank’s board took this unanimous decision following a 10-month review of the issue. One of the proposals considered was to move the headquarters to Hong Kong. The bank said in a statement after the board meeting that London is one of the world’s leading international financial centers 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, the statement said. The cost of moving the headquarters from London to any other center was estimated at $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion. The proposal to shift the headquarters from London was mooted in the wake of unfriendly tax measures that the UK government is planning. Hong Kong, where HSBC was founded about 150 years ago and where it employs more than 20,000, was considered the strongest candidate for a possible move as it accounts for 46% of HSBC’s pre-tax profit.

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