HSBC doubles down on pivot to Asia
(23 February 2021 – Global) HSBC has unveiled a further strategic shift to Asia and retreat from the west, pledging to invest $6bn to expand in Hong Kong, China and Singapore, while confirming it would sell its US retail arm and soon exit its French consumer bank.
Chief executive Noel Quinn also announced he would symbolically relocate some of his top management team to Hong Kong, saying “we will move the heart of the business to Asia, including leadership”.
Greg Guyett, co-head of global banking and markets, Nuno Matos, chief executive of wealth and personal banking, and Barry O’Byrne, chief executive of commercial banking, will move from London to Hong Kong. Relocating the trio will mean business divisions that account for almost all of HSBC’s global revenue will be run out of the city.
The announcement strengthens a strategy set this time last year, which will shift $100bn of capital to Asia, cut 35,000 jobs in Europe and the US, and boost plans to become a market leader in wealth management in Asia.
The strategy announcement comes days after the bank also made public the reshuffle of several top executives. Alongside Nuno Matos’ move into wealth and personal banking, the lender’s chief compliance officer Colin Bell will move to take his place running its European operations. Michael Roberts will become chief executive of the US and Americas, while Stephen Moss will move from London to Dubai to run the Middle East, north Africa and Turkey business.
The bank said it is expanding the responsibilities of chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson, who joined from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2019. From April he will also run the bank’s transformation program and oversee its “mergers and acquisitions agenda”.