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Banking

Noel Quinn reveals HSBC considered exit from US retail banking

The interim chief executive unveils a radical three-year restructuring plan that makes abundant strategic sense but carries plenty of execution risk.

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People walk past a HSBC signage in Singapore October 8 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim - RC142E1F4610
Feline Lim/REUTERS


The most surprising moment in HSBC’s announcement today of what interim chief executive Noel Quinn describes as “one of the deepest restructuring and simplification programmes in our history” came at the very start. 

It is usual for any bank’s annual results to be delivered by the chief executive and the chief financial officer. But chairman Mark Tucker took to the stage to outline the board’s first priority, above that of improving returns, which is still to select a new permanent chief executive. 

“The board has embarked on a thorough and rigorous process to identify a new chief executive,” Tucker confirmed. 

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Mark Tucker

This has been underway since August last year when HSBC promised to announce the result within six to 12 months.



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