From London to Paris: HSBC set to move seven operations amid Brexit uncertainty

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HSBC in Canary Wharf, London

By Darren Wood

HSBC has announced it’s moving the activities of seven branches out of London to Paris as it prepares for Brexit, which takes place in March 2019.

The Europe-focused offices, which are responsible for the bank’s activities in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland, will be transferred from HSBC Bank, the company’s London-based subsidiary, to its Paris-based counterpart HSBC France, the bank’s french subsidiary revealed in a statement.

A statement read: “HSBC France acquired two European subsidiaries on August 1, 2018, HSBC Polska Bank SA in Poland and HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Ireland) DAC in Ireland, respectively direct and indirect subsidiaries of HSBC Bank plc – will acquire the activities of seven European branches (in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain), currently attached to HSBC Bank plc.

“Acquisition of assets and liabilities from these activities is expected to be effective during the first quarter of 2019.”

While not mentioning Brexit specifically, a HSBC statement said it was: “adjusting its activities” in light of “political and regulatory change in Europe”.

The transfer will take place at the end of the first quarter of 2019, just before the UK leaves the EU in March.

It’s not just banks who are shifting their hubs to the EU to avoid disruption to business in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In March, Anglo Dutch giants Unilever made the decision to move its HQ from London to Rotterdam, despite the UK Governments best efforts.

Theresa May has ruled out keeping the UK in the single market, meaning that banks will use their European financial passports, which allow them to offer their services throughout the European Economic Area.

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