The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Global Excellence in Leadership 2020: HSBC thinks global and acts local

The new chief executive of HSBC had announced a big cost-cutting programme just before Covid hit. He was smart enough to pause it and encourage local staff around the world, even in locations where the redundancies were set to fall, to back their customers with quick loan decisions. Noel Quinn discusses the bank’s impressive response.


Laurent Lagueny, HSBC’s head of trade financing in France, was so concerned his client would fail to deliver food to a French supermarket, he jumped in his car and made a 62-mile desperate dash to save their gigots.

The bank’s trade team in Paris had received an anxious call from a wholesaler to say that a €150,000 import of Australian lamb was stuck in port because lockdown had delayed the processing of documentation.

Lagueny drove the paperwork to the port, presented it to the authorities and released the consignment so the client didn’t let down its customer and Parisians stuck indoors could at least tuck into their Easter dinner.

In China, 4,000 shipping containers of meat got stranded, threatening to leave butcher’s shelves empty. HSBC trade finance staff worked flat out to process 250,000 pages of documents, including 2,000 import bills from 1,000 couriers for a leading supplier.

In Italy, HSBC worked with a financial institution to help the government pay for a personal protective equipment (PPE) consignment stuck on the Tarmac in China, while the supplier awaited confirmation of credit.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree