HSBC's wealth management head John Flint to be next CEO

Mr John Flint will become HSBC's new chief executive on Feb 21.
Mr John Flint will become HSBC's new chief executive on Feb 21.

LONDON • HSBC has appointed Mr John Flint as its next chief executive, the bank said yesterday, sticking with a tradition of promoting company insiders to run the firm.

Mr Flint, who runs HSBC's retail and wealth management business, will start in his new role on Feb 21, taking over from chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who is retiring after seven years in the job.

The appointment marks the first major decision taken by the bank's new chairman, former AIA Group chief Mark Tucker, who joined HSBC on Oct 1 as its first externally appointed chairman.

Mr Flint, no relation to former chairman Douglas Flint, is viewed by other executives inside HSBC as a safe pair of hands, having been at the bank since 1989.

He has worked across most of the bank's business lines and spent the first 14 years of his career with HSBC in Asia, giving him the breadth of experience seen as vital to the chief executive role.

"He has a great understanding and regard for HSBC's heritage, and the passion to build the bank for the next generation," Mr Tucker said in a statement.

Mr Flint's main task will be to grow revenues across HSBC's businesses, as Europe's biggest bank seeks to grow profits again following a period of restructuring after the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

HSBC's previous management duo of Mr Gulliver and former chairman Douglas Flint spent the years since their appointments in 2010 shrinking the bank, after a period of empire-building in the run-up to the global financial crisis left it overextended.

HSBC in July announced its third share buyback in a year as well as rising profits, in a sign of its turnaround.

But the bank still faces a tough challenge to meet its long-term goal of making a better than 10 per cent return on equity.

In August last year, HSBC abandoned a timetable for achieving that target, as increased regulatory requirements on capital, low interest rates and rising competition from low-cost competitors put pressure on lenders' profits worldwide.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2017, with the headline 'HSBC's wealth management head John Flint to be its next chief exec'. Print Edition | Subscribe