Spanish property firm Metrovacesa, which had bought the HSBC Tower in London’s Canary Wharf for £1.09bn in 2007, struggled to refinance the loan HSBC underwrote to finance the deal.

HSBC Tower

HSBC Tower

HSBC took back the building, its HQ since 2002, and sold it in 2009 to South Korea’s national pension service for almost £800m.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund bought the tower in 2014 for £1.1bn.

This January, Cushman & Wakefield was appointed to carry out a review of HSBC’S occupational needs for the HQ.

Reports emerged soon after that the firm was seeking premises half the size of the tower.