HSBC’s plan of action to review the location of its headquarters puts pressure on Standard Chartered’s new boss Bill Winters as he takes up the role today.
StanChart is domiciled in the UK but carries out almost all of its business overseas, specialising in emerging markets.
As a result it is set to pay $540m this year in the bank levy, a UK tax levied on its global operations. This could prompt it to leave Britain, and go to a more welcoming location.
After falling steeply for almost two years, the bank’s share price rose when Winters’ appointment was announced in March.
“We continue to keep our UK domicile under review,” said a spokesman for StanChart. “Although we have no current plans to move our domicile, we are listening carefully to our shareholders’ views on this issue, as the regulatory landscape becomes clearer, and also in light of the latest increase in the bank levy, the likelihood of future increases, and its ongoing impact on the group’s costs.”