If it were not so sad it would be hugely comical. But HM Treasury decided to grab the money and run when it imposed the banking levy on HSBC (HSBA). The effect however has proved to be that HSBC has decided to run. There will be substantial job losses.
It should be borne in mind that HSBC never got into the financial trouble that all the others bar Barclays did. For this good housekeeping on its part HSBC found that the levy on banking assets would be applied not merely to UK advances but HSBC’s advances worldwide. This is entirely irrational and, given that it was costing HSBC perhaps £250m p.a. HSBC have entirely understandably decided to up sticks and go. You can bet that the moron in HMG who devised this result will get his knighthood in due course.
As it happens I think HSBC, as represented by my local branch in the Fulham Road, is simply silly and I record that my wife took weeks to open a bank account for my younger daughter’s tiny company simply because HSBC doubted whether my younger daughter exists. HSBC have had my younger daughter’s puny banking affairs for about twenty years and rising. HSBC have encountered my ever polite wife for getting on for eighteen years on a personal and face to face basis.
I doubt if the staff are inherently that stupid. It is simply that they have been driven to despair. They have had their confidence entirely neutered by regulation. I have time and again said that the sheer weight of this regulation in practice will be the death of us all. This headline event at HSBC is a solid example.
Dialight (DIA) have this morning warned on profits. The explanation is improbable. Stay short at 450p. I warn newbies that stock borrow is not easy and at least one firm claims a margin rate of 45%. This may be because it does not want to do business. But it’s a hurdle to confront.
Proxama (PROX) have today tried to emphasise their opportunity by highlighting Apple’s announcement of Apple Pay. I myself cannot put any figures on Proxama’s announcement. But it all sounds good. Now 2.2p.
Private and Commercial Finance (PCF) are bonging along. Hold very tight at 19p offer.
Finally, The Debonair One, a.k.a. Jim Mellon, marked my card on being long Yen. I trousered £15,000. He has now been noted as a lead member of the WCF*. He has kept me hard at it in shorting the Euro. This is not a particularly original idea but the fact that it’s worth doing is powerful testimony to economic mismanagement in Europe.
*Work Cancellation Foundation