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HSBC opts to stay in ‘competitive’ London. (It was never going to leave anyway)

POSTED ON February 15th  - POSTED IN Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax

HSBCThere’s been a lot of talk for a long time about a threat from globe-trotting HSBC to move its headquarters from London to Hong Kong. It seems there’s been a resolution of the question for now, of sorts. As Bloomberg puts it:

“HSBC Holdings Plc recommitted its future to London, ending 10 months of deliberations over whether to move its headquarters, after securing concessions from the U.K. government on regulation and taxes. The shares rose.”

That’s the Competitiveness Agenda at work, right there. Shower goodies on mobile capital and its owners for fear that they’ll flee elsewhere. More specifically, via Reuters:

How much should the UK subsidise HSBC for a ‘competitive’ financial sector?

POSTED ON June 9th  - POSTED IN Blog, Financial Regulation, Tax
City-of-London-300x65

The UK Financial Centre: soon to evaporate in a puff of bank levies?

Here we go again. Look at this latest piece of financial sector lobbying, courtesy of Reuters, which normally strives to be a fair and balanced news organisation.

This requires quite some unpacking. To begin with:

“Britain is prepared to review a tax on banks to head off the threat that large multinational banks like HSBC could leave London’s financial centre and shift their operations overseas, the Sunday Times reported, citing industry sources.

Finance minister George Osborne is to lay the ground for such a review in a speech this week, by saying that the newly-elected Conservative government is committed to maintaining the competitiveness of banks, the paper reported.”

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