News Article

HSBC CEO John Flint leaves as bank announces up to $1bn buyback

HSBC's CEO departs after 18 months despite Asia profit rise

HSBC announced Chief Executive John Flint’s sudden exit, stating that the bank required a shift at the bottom to tackle “a difficult worldwide climate,” even as it published a 16 fold increase in half-year profit.

The shift occurs 18 months after Flint got the lead from investments at Europe’s largest bank and was announced soon on Monday with its half-yearly outcomes, planned for midday.

The lender also claimed another stock buyback of up to $1 billion, challenging the hopes of some commentators that it could stop its policy of providing additional assets to shareholders.

HSBC said the director of its worldwide commercial banking division, Noel Quinn, will be the new chief executive.

“The committee thinks that a shift is required to satisfy the difficulties we encounter and seize the significant possibilities we encounter,” said Chairman Mark Tucker in a declaration.

Before bringing over as CEO in February 2018, Flint managed the retail and wealth management company of HSBC. His assignment was the first significant choice made by the first internally designated president of the bank, Tucker, who arrived at the end of 2017.

Having served at the company since 1989 and throughout most of its companies, Flint was considered the secure choice for CEO position by other HSBC managers at the moment.

In June last year, Flint outlined his approach at the bank’s top, setting out schemes to spend $15-$17 billion in fields including technology and China over the next three years.

HSBC’s pre-tax profit grew to $12.41 billion in the first six months of 2019, up from $10.71 billion a year previously in the same era, the bank said in its income declaration, assisted by an increase in retail banking and Asian profits.

Since the start of the buyback program in 2016, the bank has bought more than $6 billion of its stocks as it assigns surplus assets to shareholders and seeks to neutralise the dilutive effect of dividends being paid out in the type of shares.

Analysts had been carefully observing to see if the bank would announce a new buyback since the inability to do so would have been viewed by HSBC’s leadership as a symbol of growing warning.

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