Business

HSBC ousts CEO, will slash 4,000 jobs

HONG KONG/LONDON : HSBC ousted chief executive officer John Flint after just 18 months in that role, in a surprise move that the lender's chairman said was necessary to accelerate progress of its strategic priorities.

Mr Flint's exit, which a source said was a result of differences over execution of his strategy, was disclosed by HSBC early yesterday along with its half-yearly results that had been scheduled for release later in the day.

Mr Flint ran HSBC's retail and wealth management business before taking over as CEO in 2018.

HSBC's Hong Kong shares fell 1.4 per cent in afternoon trade, while the broader market was down 2.7 per cent. The stock dropped even as it posted a 16 per cent rise in half-yearly profit and unveiled a buyback of up to US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion).

HSBC, which makes more than 80 per cent of its profit in Asia, said its global commercial banking unit head Noel Quinn will be interim chief executive. The board would consider internal and external candidates for the new CEO, it said.

The bank said it will axe about 4,000 jobs in a new overhaul.

"We've announced a restructuring" that "involves two per cent of our workforce" or 4,000 jobs, said chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson, stressing the job losses would "target more senior ranks". - REUTERS, AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE