THE GOVERNMENT is considering a review of a tax on banks in order to discourage multinational banks considering leaving the capital and establishing their HQs overseas.

The chancellor is to outline plans for the review in a speech later this week, in which he will say the government is committed to maintaining the competitiveness of banks, the Sunday Times reports.

After a scandal-hit year, HSBC is currently assessing the viability of relocating its financial centre to Asia, while Standard Chartered is also undertaking a similar process.

HSBC – Europe’s biggest bank – said in April it was prompted by “regulatory and structural changes” in the industry. It makes 80% of its profits in Asia.

A finance ministry spokesman declined to comment directly on the report but said: “We are committed to maintaining our position as a global financial hub.

“As set out at the budget, it is right that, as it becomes more profitable, our banking sector makes a fair contribution to fixing the public finances.”

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