Fuck off, HSBC…

News this week totally unconnected with the election campaign (really?) that HSBC is thinking of moving it’s head office out of London to an undisclosed location overseas.

Last year HSBC paid £1.1bn in UK corporation tax which is 10% of its total worldwide tax bill despite the fact that HSBC has 17% of it’s staff based in the UK and accounts for 18% of it’s turnover. Could it be that it is either diverting revenues abroad or loading it’s UK costs to avoid UK tax? Shurely not!

Let’s cut through the politics. HSBC and Barclays both do their best to avoid paying tax in the UK. As regards the proposed HQ relocation, they have a policy to review this every three years but due to the global financial crisis, this was delayed and has now come around again.

And of course this is absolutely nothing to do with Stuart Gulliver, their CEO, wanting to minimise the tax on his £7.5million remuneration package either.

No, this is to do with them stamping their little feet over the proposed increase in the bank levy , especially if Labour get in on May 7th. It’s sabre rattling and scare tactics and playing politics. So will it happen?

Well, the smart money says that the world financial markets are in London and New York so are HSBC really going to move to Hong Kong? Well, they’d be moving out of the thick of it and I don’t reckon the banking world would look too kindly on that.

No, this is the news media talking up a non story about a scheduled operational review that was going to happen anyway. End of.

Anyone would think there an election campaign going on…


5 responses to “Fuck off, HSBC…

  1. I freely admit that I do not understand the worlds of banking, high finance, commerce or accountancy. My gut feeling is that they are worlds inhabited by the slimiest, twisting, conniving sheisters ever conceived. All they seem to care about is making as much money for themselves as is humanly possible, often at the expense of thousands of relatively poor, hardworking, ordinary people.
    We often moan and complain about the feckless welfare scroungers, but they are really small time crooks compared to those described above. The big boys really know how to use and twist the system to their own advantage.
    I'm truly amazed that since the banking crisis happened. not one of the bastards has ended up with a bullet in them. It would cheer me up no end to hear that one of these multi-millionaire financiers had died a horrible, brutal death.

  2. HSBC moved to London from Hong Kong to avoid coming under the supervision of Peking. They do most of their business in Asia. They were able to behave badly because of Brown/Balls/Miliband's atrocious ideas of bank supervision. They were all in it together, but can not admit how stupid they were. They can move again if they want to, but will not be able to have such a loose method of supervision again anywhere. Before Blair, the banking supervision in this country was probably the best in the world. Remember Flemmings Bank. Went bust, sold off for £1. The shareholders who were responsible for what the bank did lost their money. It all happened over one weekend under the supervision of the Bank of England. No one else lost .

  3. HSBC have long been known for being cynically ruthless over money. While serving in the British Army in Hong Kong during the 80's, we had a choice of being paid through HSBC or Standard Chartered Bank. HSBC were the Army's bankers so all pay went to them and was made available to their customers on the last bank working day of the month. However, they often delayed transferring funds to the SCB for days, meaning some military personnel didn't receive their pay for several days into the following month. This allowed HSBC to gain millions of dollars in interest. Complaints were met with, “You should have banked with us in the first place.”

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  5. “I freely admit that I do not understand the worlds of banking, high finance, commerce or accountancy……..It would cheer me up no end to hear that one of these multi-millionaire financiers had died a horrible, brutal death.”

    Well, that escalated quickly.