Wednesday, 9 November 2011

'Off You Go, Then,' Britain Tells HSBC

After HSBC warned that tougher regulations may force it to leave Britain, the bank’s branches up and down the country have been besieged by people offering to help it pack its bags.

Need a hand with that?
“You get to a $2.5 billion cost for being UK headquartered. This is a non-trivial decision, you don't move your head office on a regular basis,” complained Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of the bank whose selling of sub-prime mortgages to Americans who were unable to afford them did so much to cement London’s reputation as a global banking centre. “We’re already cutting back our operations in America, Canada, Russia, Poland, Georgia and Chile - and if any more governments want to interfere with our right to all the money in the world, we will leave Earth altogether and ruin you from the moon, which has the sort of regulations we like.”

Recession-hit customers, meanwhile, are visiting the other high-street banks, asking them if they have any plans to push off too, and offering to hold the door open for them on the way out.

Horrified MPs, however, warned the public that the banking sector provides essential support to Britain’s prosperity by offering vital non-executive directorships to humble politicians who would otherwise be reduced to losing all but one of their homes and begging in the streets.

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