HSBC is weighing up floating its UK arm, according to reports, ahead of new rules that demand banks ringfence their retail banking operations.
The banks, Britain's largest, has been reportedly talking to investors about whether or not they would support the project, according to the Telegraph.
There have also been informal discussions at board level to gauge opinion on the idea, the Financial Times reports.
The newspaper reports that people familiar with the matter, which is still in the early stages, have said the most likely plan would be to list a minority stake of up to 30% in the UK retail and commercial banking operation.
Investors have estimated that the UK arm could float with a total market value of roughly £20bn.
HSBC is said to be considering the IPO ahead of the incoming Vickers rules which will demand that banks ring-fence retail, which includes customer deposits and small business loans, from investment banking activity.
While a formal separation is not required, experts have suggested that the bigger banks could go that one step further and completely spin off their retail unit.
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