Big banks’ alternative homes

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Rumours about the future domicile of HSBC have now reached silly-season proportions.

First up was a story based on comments from a senior official of the bank in Germany, quickly clarified as having been made in a personal capacity, that the bank could up sticks to Dusseldorf. 

Then newspapers speculated that only the bank-friendly regime in the US could accommodate such a big institution. We’re almost expecting news that HSBC has decided after all not to sell its business in Turkey, and instead will re-domicile in Istanbul, to take advantage of the country’s unique position as a gatepost between the bank’s two biggest markets, Europe and Asia. 

But that got us thinking: what other banks might consider a relocation? Here’s a few ideas:

Barclays: From Canary Wharf to John McFarlane’s home. Then the chairman could be really hands-on;

Bank of America: From Charlotte to Washington – so much easier to pop in and see the Department of Justice;

Deutsche Bank: From its Frankfurt towers to McKinsey’s headquarters. So much easier to push out those frequent strategy reviews that way;

Goldman Sachs: from New York’s West Street to the Cloud. Goldman’s top people are still suitcase bankers at heart, and senior management loves new technology. So why not just give up the bricks and mortar?

JPMorgan: To the top floor of the Burj Al-Arab in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Then they really could look down on everyone else; and

RBS: From Edinburgh to inside a family-run butchers in rural Yorkshire to demonstrate its new-found modesty.