HSBC Heads to Jamaica?

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Reports out of the United Kingdom say the Jamaican government has opened talks with the multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC, about establishing its head office in Kingston.

The report, published by Sky News, says the Simpson Miller administration has contacted HSBC to pitch Jamaica as a potential destination, as the company decides whether to move its head office away from the UK.

The approach from Jamaica and another from the government of the Netherlands, were disclosed last week by the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, during a town hall meeting with senior bank staff.

Gulliver’s presentation reportedly sought to offer clarity to HSBC executives about the headquarters review.

A decision is due to be made by the end of the year about whether rising regulatory costs and structural reforms will push HSBC to leave London after more than two decades.

HSBC has outlined 11 criteria that will determine the future location of its headquarters.

Among them are the ability to attract and retain top talent, the tax systems of competing jurisdictions and an economy’s long-term stability.

Several governments are understood to have also reached out to HSBC, attracted by the perceived prestige of becoming home to one of the world’s largest banks.

However, Hong Kong, where HSBC was based before its shift to London in the early 1990s, is seen as the leading contender if the company’s board decide to relocate.

HSBC last week outlined plans to slash up to 25-thousand jobs by the end of 2017 as it prepares to sell its operations in Brazil and Turkey.