Sino-British banking giant HSBC Holdings PLC has been considering plans to sell its U.K. retail bank for 20 billion pounds ($30.4 billion), according to a report by the Sunday Times. The report came after HSBC announced Friday that it would look at whether it should move its corporate headquarters out of the U.K. as it faces regulatory and tax changes in the country. The U.K. is slated to hold general election scheduled on May 7, and directors at the bank are considering the future of their British retail operations, the Sunday Times quoted unnamed senior sources at the bank as saying over the weekend, adding that the spin-off of the unit could speed up HSBC's exit from the country. Shares of HSBC climbed 4.8% Monday morning in Hong Kong, following a 4.2% jump on Friday. The financial group was founded in 1865 in Hong Kong and Shanghai, but it moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to London in 1993 after taking over Midland Bank.
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