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Is HSBC's 'outsider' chairman a good move?

Monday, March 13, 2017 - 01:31

HSBC shares have risen after Europe's biggest bank tapped an outsider, Mark Tucker, for its top job. As Sara Hemrajani reports, the search may now also be on for a new CEO who could join the lender next year.

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A brand new face at the top of HSBC. Insurance veteran and AIA boss Mark Tucker will take over as chairman later this year, replacing Douglas Flint. It's a radical move for the bank and shares rose one percent as a result. (Soundbite) Lawrence White, Reuters UK banking correspondent, saying (English): "This is the first time in HSBC's 152-year history that they've appointed an external chairman. It's a bit of a departure for them but something investors have been wanting for years, to get a bit of fresh blood and fresh perspective into the running of Europe's biggest bank." Mark Tucker is seen as a safe pair of hands who can revive HSBC's fortunes. The lender has suffered from shrinking profits, costly restructuring and regulatory fines. But despite the changes, some analysts remain cautious about the outlook for the banking sector. (Soundbite) Peter Dixon, Global Financial Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "There are still significant headwinds, particularly here in Europe with the ECB remaining very much in active mode. And, of course, the regulatory environment remains very difficult for banks to negotiate. So it's going to be a long time yet, I think, before banks can say they're out of the woods, but hopefully we're seeing the first glimpses of some sign of a turnaround." One of Tucker's first jobs will be to appoint a right-hand man. CEO Stuart Gulliver is expected to step down in 2018. Many now waiting to see if Tucker will hire an outsider like himself or promote an existing senior executive.

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Is HSBC's 'outsider' chairman a good move?

Monday, March 13, 2017 - 01:31