HBSC Holdings (LON:HSBA) expects fewer jobs to be moved out of London as the UK leaves the European Union, Reuters has reported. The group’s investment bank chief sees the chances of a hard Brexit receding following the country’s election result earlier this month.
HSBC’s share price has inched into negative territory today, having lost 0.19 percent to 685.40p as of 13:20 BST, underperforming the broader UK market, with the blue-chip FTSE 100 index currently 0.52 percent better off at 7,457.57 points. The group’s shares have added nearly 61 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some four percent in the year-to-date.
Reuters quoted HSBC’s investment bank chief Samir Assaf as saying at an investor presentation yesterday that the Asia-focused lender saw the chances of a hard Brexit receding, following last week’s election result which saw Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party lose its majority in parliament.
“If the hard Brexit transformed into a soft Brexit that’s as well very good news for us because it will be less hassle and we will be able to do much more things from London,” he pointed out, as quoted by the newswire. “We would be very happy to remain in London, business as usual.”
The blue-chip lender had previously signalled that it was considering moving jobs to Paris, amid uncertainty over London’s future as Europe’s dominant financial centre once the UK leaves the bloc.
Reuters meanwhile quoted Investec’s Ian Gordon as commenting that HSBC’s global banking and markets management saw the bank as a relative beneficiary of a hard Brexit as its existing licenses in the EU and French operations could help it grab market share from others less well placed.
“Under ‘soft’ Brexit, HSBC believes that such relative advantage would be diluted,” he wrote, adding that the broker found it “somewhat ironic therefore, that HSBC Group management continues to be perceived as campaigning vociferously for ‘soft’ Brexit, which would seemingly be to the detriment of shareholders”.