HSBC (3)

One of HSBC's biggest shareholders has said it would support a decision to move the bank's headquarters out of London.

Standard Life Investments', head of equities, David Cumming, said HSBC was suffering a "competitive disadvantage" because of "ever-increasing capital requirements".

HSBC said earlier this year that is was considering moving its headquarters away from the UK as the government and Bank of England tightened regulations in an attempt to reduce the risk of another financial crisis.

Speaking to the BBC on behalf of Standard Life, which owns a 1% stake in HSBC, Mr Cummings said: "Logically, we would be supportive of a move if they chose to do that [leave the UK]."

HSBC has not revealed its possible destinations, but Hong Kong is believed to be high on the list. HSBC makes the majority of its money in Asia - around 80% in fact.

In recent years, the Bank of England has put the UK's banks under a number of stress tests to determine their ability to continue trading without a bailout, if another financial crisis were to hit. Banks are now also required to hold greater capital to solidify their defences against turbulent times.

Mr Cummings said that moving away from the UK would give HSBC "better growth, earnings and dividend prospects unless the regulator changes tack".