Second time in a fortnight HSBC has hinted that it may spin off its UK retail business if new laws prevent it from keeping control of the division’s capital and management, The Financial Times has reported.
Under the Vickers reforms, all UK financial institutions are required to carve out their local retail banking unit into a ring-fenced entity by 2019.
According to the FT, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said that if the ring-fencing rules were too ‘electrified’, and prevented the bank from having too much influence over the UK retail arm, then HSBC would have consider its options.
"What would be uncomfortable is if we were a majority shareholder in a bank where we have no control over capital or management decisions," he added.
Gulliver, however, added that the rules were still being worked on and it was ‘way too early’ to make any decision on a spin-off.
Last month, HSBC chairman Douglas Flint said that the bank may consider moving its headquarters from London because of tougher regulation since the financial crisis.