Date: 6 March 2011
Author: BBC News
HSBC may not have taken any handouts from the British tax-payer but the speculation about the future location of their banking headquarters is still sour grapes. While the customers have to foot any bill the banks throw at them in the form of charges for overdrafts and interest, as soon as it is suggested that they should “pay their way”, they get petulent;
However, it went on to say that the issue of rising costs – and a new government-imposed banking levy – was one that concerned its owners, the shareholders.
“We are however, in light of possible regulatory changes and additional costs such as the bank levy, being increasingly asked by shareholders and investors about the likely additional cost of being headquartered in the UK.
“We are very clear that the City of London’s competitive position deserves protection and HSBC will play a full part in this; we are encouraged by the UK government’s recent commitments to do the same.”
The bank has said the levy is unfair to its business, which has substantial overseas operations.
A spokesman from HM Treasury said banks had to pay their way: “While we are determined that the UK remains a world-leading financial centre, banks must pay their fair share of deficit reduction, which is why the government has introduced a permanent bank levy raising £2.5bn a year.”
Charges are never fair but the people have to put up with them so why should banking institutions believe themselves to be above such mediocre requirements?