Britain aims to stem banking exodus threat

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.

Britain aims to stem banking exodus threat

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

HSBC and Standard Chartered are looking at quitting London for Asia. The Sunday Times report cited sources, including one of HSBC’s top five shareholders, as saying a review of the tax could stall any move by the bank to leave London.

HSBC declined to comment on the report. A finance ministry spokesman declined to comment directly on the report but said: “We are committed to maintaining our position as a global financial hub. As set out at the budget, it is right that, as it becomes more profitable, our banking sector makes a fair contribution to fixing the public finances.”

  • Reuters

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