HSBC to Seek BOE's Nod for John Flint as CEO, Sunday Times Says

  • Flint is head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC
  • All 21 previous leaders picked from inside the London bank

HSBC Holdings Plc selected John Flint, head of retail banking and wealth management, to be the new chief executive officer and has asked the Bank of England for permission to make the appointment, the Sunday Times reported, citing people it didn’t identify.

The London-based bank’s board approved 49-year-old Flint’s appointment after the arrival of new Chairman Mark Tucker last week, according to the paper. He would take over the position from Stuart Gulliver, who has been in the post for nearly seven years and has said he would retire in 2018. Gillian James, an HSBC spokeswoman, declined to comment.

John Flint

Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

Flint, who heads up HSBC’s largest division, joined in 1989, rising through the ranks of its Asia trading floor before returning to Europe 13 years ago. He’s been treasurer, deputy head of markets, chief of staff and head of strategy at the bank. His top concerns will likely include improving the bank’s technology, entailing more job cuts; continuing Gulliver’s “pivot to Asia” and $100 billion investment in China’s Pearl River Delta region; and growing the asset management unit.

The move would be a continuation of picking a long-serving insider for the role -- the bank has drawn every one of its previous 21 leaders from its own ranks over more than 150 years -- rather than someone from outside the organization. Peter Hancock, the former boss of American International Group Inc., had been considered for the position, Bloomberg News reported earlier.

Other HSBC executives tipped for the job included Antonio Simoes, who runs the bank’s U.K. and European regional operations, and Samir Assaf, the head of the investment bank.

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