HSBC has told its biggest shareholders that it is preparing to quit London in a shock move that the bank has revealed to key investors is now \”more likely than not\”.
The reasons being given:
Iain Mackay, finance director of HSBC, blamed the bonus tax in Britain and France and the large swathes of new bank regulations for the higher costs. Senior figures at the bank have also pointed out that the Government\’s banking levy, recently increased by the Chancellor, means that the bank will ultimately pay out as much to cover the tax as it gains in profit from its UK businesses.
Oh. So that \”the banks have to stay in London and we can squeeze them as much as we want then\” argument seems slightly weakened then, doesn\’t it?
Look for the sharp U-Turn in the argument: we don\’t want them anyway and who cares about the tax? Indeed, I confidently predict that at least one person among the usual suspects will tell us that this is a good thing. Inequality will fall and it really is better to be poorer but more equal anyway.