Warm reception for HSBC boosts chance it will move to Hong Kong

Tim Wallace
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HSBC moved its headquarters to the UK in 1993 after it bought Midland Bank
HSBC’S bosses received a substantially warmer welcome from investors in Hong Kong than at its annual general meeting (AGM) in London on Friday, City A.M. understands.

It comes at a crucial time for the UK-based banking giant as it considers moving its headquarters out of the UK, in response to the rising tide of regulation and taxes imposed in Britain.

Executives and board members held an “informal meeting” with investors in Hong Kong last Monday, and are understood to have found the shareholders there “much more welcoming”.

The same is also true of regulators – the Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued a statement rolling out the red carpet for the bank.

By contrast, there were occasional jeers from investors at the London AGM, held at the QEII conference centre.

Meanwhile, the firm declined to comment on reports that it is considering selling its UK retail banking unit.

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