HSBC: a very different relocation, tax haven to muckier tax haven

   0   0 Blog, Enablers and intermediaries

We’ve just written about HSBC’s extensive lobbying effort to water down UK banking reforms by pretending it was planning to throw its toys out of the pram relocate its head office from London to Hong Kong if it didn’t get what it wanted. But inside HSBC, a very real relocation is underway.

Via TJN contacts, this email has been sent out:

“We would like to inform you of a planned change in the place of incorporation and headquarters of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HBME).

. . . HBME intends to move its place of incorporation and head office to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), following which it will become lead regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (the Migration).”

This has been flagged previously, but it seems things are now moving.

Anyone who thinks this relocation is going to contribute to the financial or ethical health of this scandal-happy global bank needs to consider this, about the “twisted Switzerland of the Middle East”. 

HSBC’s Q + A about this is here.

This all raises a very big question: “why?”

Is it simply to bring them ‘closer to their client base?’

Or is it because Dubai is a lot more secretive, with an even more see-no-evil attitude to banking than Jersey?

Jersey‘s secrecy score: 65
Dubai‘s secrecy score: 77

Has EU pressure made Jersey less attractive to, shall we say, insalubrious clients?

We don’t know. We’d like to know more.

HSBC Dubai

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About The Author

Nicholas Shaxson is a journalist and writer on the staff of Tax Justice Network. He is author of the book Poisoned Wells about the oil industry in Africa, published in 2007, and the more recent Treasure Islands: Tax havens and the Men who Stole the World, published by Random House in January 2011. He lives in Berlin
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