HSBC
HSBC to consider leaving UK headquartersReuters/Peter Nicholls

International banking group HSBC has stated that it is considering moving its UK headquarters to a different country.

The bank released a statement saying that "we are beginning to see the final shape of regulation and of structural reform, including the requirement to ring fence in the UK".

As a result, "the Board has therefore now asked management to commence work to look at where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment. The question is a complex one and it is too soon to say how long this will take or what the conclusion will be; but the work is underway."

Hong Kong has been touted as the most likely destination if the bank was to relocate, with the Asian market accounting for around 80% of its profit.

HSBC has been caught up in regulatory changes in the UK which has been exacerbated by the Swiss tax evasion scandal.

By 2019, international banks like HSBC will be forced to maintain a divide between their high street and investment arms in order to protect British taxpayers and customers in the event of another financial crisis, which has led some of its board wondering if the UK will ultimately become uneconomical, Sky News reports.

The news website reports that a committee headed by chief executive Stuart Gulliver will report on the matter to the HSBC Holdings' board.