"Where’s the best place to head office the bank?" is a question asked regularly by folks like HSBC, and the answer may be quite surprising.
Obviously, key contenders would be London, Paris, Frankfurt, New York,
Chicago, Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore … in fact, any of these
could be appropriate. Most banks decide based upon where their roots
were and what sort of specialisation they have, such as whether they
are a local retail player or a derivatives focused investment bank. In
other words, you locate based upon history, product, service, access to
resources and skills and so forth.
But if you were moving Head Office as a global bank, without any loyalty to any location today, where would you locate?
Well, now there is an answer.
The 2008 list has just come out and it’s got some surprising details and views.
Before giving you the results however, it’s worth understanding how
they calculate this list. The Heritage Foundation assessed 162
countries and reviewed ten areas, such as their freedom of trade,
freedom of business, freedom of investment, freedom from corruption,
size of Government and respect for property rights. Countries are then
graded with a score between 0 and 100 to produce a simple, unbiased
overall score for each country.
So, who do you think would be the winner?
USA? Nope, they’re fifth.
The UK? Nope, tenth.
Iraq? Urrmmm … they didn’t grade that one.
for freedom and the best place to locate your bank would be … Hong
Kong. Now, isn’t that lucky for HSBC if they wanted to move?
Here’s the Top 10:
- Hong Kong
- United States
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
What’s interesting is that when you look at the analysis of the Top 10
based upon the ten criteria used: America is the worst for corruption,
Chile the worst for monetary freedom, Australia the worst for fiscal
freedom, and the UK is the worst for freedom of labour and our size of
Don’t we just know it?