LeaveHQ, 15/02/2016  

HSBC's board has voted to remain in the UK in a decision that draws a line under almost a year of uncertainty over the future of Europe’s biggest bank. In a decision deemed a "vote of confidence in the government’s economic plan" by the Treasury, HSBC bosses have ruled out fears the bank would quit Britain for a country with a less strict regulatory environment.

Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive, said HSBC's current location “delivers the best of both worlds to our stakeholders.” He added that said Britain’s “internationally recognised” regulatory framework and legal system, as well as its workforce, meant the UK should remain HSBC’s home.

In many respects this is a non-story. It was a non-story in April when it was first mooted and it's a non-story now. The reason being that London is a first rate global city that will remain that way in or out of the EU.

As to Britain's “internationally recognised” regulatory framework, that's the key to this whole debate. It would be more accurate to say that Britain has adopted global regulatory conventions made at the very top tables, and would do so in or out of the EU. The EU is simply not pertinent to the issue whatever they say.

In that regard, from a regulatory perspective, there is zero competitive advantage in moving away from London. The same can be said for those threatening relocate to mainland Europe in a post Brexit scenario. It's not like there's a tax advantage to moving to Paris. The business environment does not change either so they would be wasting their time.

This of course upsets the hardline eurosceptic view that we would be in for a bonfire of regulations after leaving the EU, but the lesson here is obvious. The bluster and hyperbole about Brexit is now entirely transparent. The scaremongering is entirely empty and without substance - and when told to put their money where their mouth is, they will bottle it.

Now that we have seen the colour of their money, so to speak, we can tell them to butt out of politics. As much as Brexit has no impact on them, who governs us is none of their business anyway.

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