HSBC has said that moving its headquarters out of the UK would only involve the transfer of only 250 jobs out of 48,000 employed in the UK.
The bank launched a headquarters review, partly because of the UK bank levy which cost HSBC £730m last year and would be much lower if it moved.
There has been widespread speculation that ultimate control would be transferred to Hong Kong.
HSBC said consideration of shifting its headquarters overseas was not a threat but a result of pressure from shareholders worried about their dividends.
While presenting results for the first three months of the year -- from Hong Kong -- its managers were also questioned about rumours that they were planning to sell the UK High Street bank, perhaps reviving its former name Midland Bank.
They said the uncertainty had arisen because banks here were having to separate their retail operations behind a "ring fence" to protect them against a future financial crisis
However, any future action would depend on how much control HSBC's global operation would be left with, which wouldn't be clear for several years.