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HSBC’s Flint Says Location Review Pushed Back by 12 Months

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Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Douglas Flint said the bank’s three-yearly review of the location of its headquarters has been “pushed back” by as much as 12 months mainly because of U.K. regulatory changes.

“We will not be in a position by the end of this year to draw a conclusion” on where it would be best to be headquartered, Flint told members of the House of Commons and House of Lords in London today.

Flint said that the cost of selling loss-absorbing bonds, in line with the U.K. government-sponsored Independent Commission on Banking’s plans, may be as much as $2.1 billion a year. That is “too high to ignore,” he said.

HSBC depends on Asia for a majority of its profit, and faced calls from investors to consider moving after the British government imposed a bank levy last year to raise 2.5 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) from lenders.

Flint told parliamentarians that if the bank relocated it would choose a place where it already had a “big presence,” though the issue was hypothetical.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gavin Finch in London at gfinch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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