HSBC's decision to stay in London is great for the UK, the capital and the kick-start London's financial services needs

Hakan Enver
A general view of the London headquarter
HSBC's departure from London would have had a huge impact on the country (Source: Getty)

It comes as a welcome relief that HSBC has taken the decision to maintain its headquarter status in London.

Its towering Canada Square, Canary Wharf presence allows the famous HSBC sign to be seen from some distance away. It is therefore, great news that this will remain intact. There are a number of reasons why London will continue to benefit from keeping HSBC here over other proposed cities.

Firstly, having a global presence, particularly one that links the UK directly into China and vice versa, bodes well for business, particularly with the government investing heavily in fostering relationships and increasing trade opportunities between the two nations.

This affects the UK economy in many ways - namely with inward investment, as well as a platform for globally talented individuals to continue to seek employment here in the UK.

London is already home to a wide pool of talented and highly skilled local and international individuals within the financial service sector. With its geographical location and time zone benefits, London is well suited to transact with the rest of Europe, the Americas and the Far East.

The capital has the best business environment, the most developed financial centre, a globally connected economy an impressive infrastructure with links to the rest of the world and the top overall reputation. In addition, we have the advantage of the usage of English which is the business language of the world.

HSBC's London HQ employs thousands and provides high levels of tax contribution. By moving abroad, this would have been jeopardised on both counts and therefore, hurt London and the UK.

Despite HSBC announcing that it will freeze hiring in 2016 and the news that it may move some jobs to Paris, I expect this to change in the coming months as sentiment increases and trading activity improves. We'll have to wait and see what happens with the Brexit vote.

Many believed that the idea of HSBC leaving London would put pressure on the government to reduce the regulatory burdens on the banking industry.

Whether that's true or not is still to be debated, but whatever your view, this may be the kick-start that the London financial services sector needs.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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