The move to replace Flint, who was finance director before becoming chairman in 2010, came as the UK’s biggest bank signalled it was preparing for a new chief executive to take over from Stuart Gulliver.
The bank has previously promised investors it will break with tradition and appoint a chairman from external candidates. The prospect of boardroom changes has been in focus since the bank announced last month that it would keep its headquarters in the UK, where it has been based since 1992 after buying Midland bank.
Headhunters have been retained by the bank and the process will be led by board members Sam Laidlaw, the former chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, who heads the nominations committee, and Rachel Lomax, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, who is the senior independent non-executive director.
Flint and Gulliver are in the middle of a three-year strategy, which will end in 2017, aimed at repairing HSBC’s reputation after a £1.2bn fine imposed by the US authorities for money-laundering, and the scandal exposed by the Guardian and other publications involving the tax affairs of its Swiss banking arm. HSBC is axing 25,000 jobs to help save £3.3bn a year.
In the notice sent to shareholders before next month’s annual general meeting, Flint said the nominations committee “had turned its attention to formulating a succession plan for my own rule as group chairman, so that the incoming group chairman can lead the process for selecting the next group chief executive in due course”.
He added: “The board aims to nominate by successor during 2017 but the exact timing is dependent upon identifying and securing the appropriate candidate. My own commitment is to remain as long as necessary to ensure a smooth transistion,.”
This article was written by Jill Treanor, for theguardian.com on Friday 18th March 2016 12.29 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010