One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC, has so far spent $28m on preparations for Brexit, according to the company’s annual report.
Published yesterday (20th February), the figure reveals the scale of spending in which some companies have engaged to ready themselves for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The figure appeared among a list of “significant” spending items and was accompanied by no commentary. However, the bank’s risk report makes mention of Brexit, indicating that HSBC’s contingency is based on assuming a “hard Brexit”.
The report said: “Our objective in all scenarios is to continue to meet customers’ needs and minimise disruption. This is likely to require adjustments to our cross-border banking model, with impacted business transferring from the UK to our existing subsidiary in France or other European subsidiaries, as appropriate.
“Given the tight time frame and the complexity of the negotiations, we have put in place a robust contingency plan. It is based on a scenario whereby the UK exits the EU in March 2019, without access to the single market or customs union, and without a transitional arrangement. When negotiation positions and timelines become clearer, we will update our contingency plan.”
HSBC reported profit before tax up to $17.2bn, a rise of 140% on the previous year.