HSBC chief drops HK relocation plan


The decision will mean that Stuart Gulliver, who for years has been one of Britain’s best paid bankers, will continue to pay UK income tax, unlike his predecessor Michael Geoghegan, who moved the CEO’s office to Hong Kong in 2009.

The government is likely to welcome Mr Gulliver’s decision as it encourages banks to increase their support for British business.

Mr Gulliver had previously warned that HSBC could relocate abroad, most likely to Hong Kong, if the government forced banks to split their retail and investment banking businesses.

However, Mr Gulliver risks offending Asian officials, particularly in China, who had applauded HSBC’s move to shift its centre of gravity back to Hong Kong. “Actually the reverse is true,” said one close associate. “He has appointed strong people to head the Asian offensive so he doesn’t need to be there all the time himself.”

Mr Gulliver believes the UK timezone is the most efficient from which to manage a global business. Douglas Flint, HSBC’s chairman, is also based in London. According to people close to him, Mr Gulliver is scheduled to spend an average of two weeks a month in the UK, a week in Hong Kong and a week travelling to other parts of HSBC’s global operations.


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