Potential boardroom changes at HSBC have been brought into focus following Britain’s biggest bank’s decision to remain in the UK rather than return its headquarters to Hong Kong.
With the bank’s shares down last week to 2009 levels, Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive, said he aims to see through the strategic plan announced in June and which is due to be completed by the end of 2017.
“I have a programme that runs until the end of 2017 and will work towards that,” Gulliver told the Financial Times. He said the succession would become “an issue over the next year or so, but you should not expect anything to happen over the next few weeks”.
He added: “It is not clear that this is the time to change the CEO and chairman because on a relative basis the shares are not down as much as others.”
Chairman Douglas Flint said he was “enjoying what I’m doing”.
Gulliver is attempting to implement a strategy which involves axing 25,000 jobs to save £3.3bn as well as restore the reputation of the bank battered by a £1.2bn fine for money laundering and a scandal surrounding the tax affairs of its Swiss banking arm.
Mike Fox, head of sustainable investments at Royal London Asset Management, said: “We have a long-held view that HSBC should be more transparent in succession planning and look outside for candidates.”
The bank has said that the successor to Flint – who was promoted from finance director to chairman in 2010 – will hail from outside its existing management team, thus breaking with tradition.
This article was written by Jill Treanor, for theguardian.com on Monday 15th February 2016 17.15 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010