Standard Chartered bank steps up relocation plans: report

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Standard Chartered bank has stepped up plans for possible relocation to the Far East where it does most of its business, as it bids to escape tighter regulations in Britain, a report said on Friday.

The Times wrote that the Britain-based bank had "discussed the issue in depth at several meetings and has a team working on the feasibility of a move to the Far East or elsewhere."

Standard's chief executive Peter Sands recently said the bank's "preferred solution" was to stay in London but added that it would seriously consider moving if it was "hopelessly disadvantaged," the paper added.

Britain's coalition government is looking at toughtening banking regulations in the wake of the financial crisis but has been warned by the sector that such moves could hike lenders' costs, forcing them to relocate abroad.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered downplayed the report in The Times.

Relocation "is something we do look at but we have no plans to move," he told AFP.

© 2010 AFP

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