HSBC HQ move decision to take months not years

HSBC HQ at the Canary Wharf Tower. Photo by Gordon JolyHSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said their decision whether to move their headquarters out of London will “take us a few months, not years.”

However, the bank said that only 250 jobs out of 48,000 UK-based HSBC employees would be transferred if the headquarters were to be relocated. reported last month on April 24th that HSBC were considering moving their HQ away from London and out of the UK. also reported in March that HSBC is to relocate the national head office of its ring-fenced retail banking division from London to Birmingham city centre.

HSBC is in advanced negotiations to conclude the acquisition of a 250 year lease on a new office comprising 210,000 sq ft at Miller Development’s Arena Central.

As part of the broader strategic review taking place, the Board of HSBC has now asked management to commence work to look at where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered globally.

It cited the economic uncertainty that stands out of UK exiting membership of the EU.

In February the bank published a major research study which concluded that working to complete the Single Market in services and reforming the EU to make it more competitive were far less risky than going it alone, given the importance of EU markets to British trade.

The bank also cited a number of positive developments in overseas markets.

London is rapidly losing its competitive edge as cripplingly high housing and spending costs, together with easier global transport, means it is far cheaper and easier for companies to have their staff working from international offices remotely.

HSBC has also faced accusations of foreign exchange manipulation and assisting in tax avoidance, which “has undoubtedly done reputational damage to the firm”, said CEO Stuart Gulliver.