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HSBC sees no change to UK bank levy policy before 2015

People sit in an outdoor coffee shop in front of an HSBC bank branch in Valletta May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
People sit in an outdoor coffee shop in front of an HSBC bank branch in Valletta May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC <0005.HK> said it does not expect Britain to change its bank levy policy before the next general election due in 2015 and said it is likely to pay about $800 million on the tax this year.

HSBC has said the levy unfairly hits banks with big overseas operations. Half its payment last year was on non-UK banking activity.

"We have had all the conversations we could possibly have with all the people we could have them with, and I believe there will be no change at all this side of a general election," Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver told investors on Wednesday.

HSBC paid $571 million for the levy in 2012, but Finance Director Iain Mackay told investors that was likely to rise to near $800 million this year due to a higher tax rate.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Matt Scuffham)

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