HSBC names Skelton Apac commercial bank head

Paul Skelton replaces Noel Quinn and renews the British bank’s focus on China’s Pearl River Delta and Asean.

HSBC named Paul Skelton as regional head of commercial banking, Asia-Pacific on Wednesday replacing Noel Quinn whose new role has yet to be announced. 

Quinn will be moving to another role within the group based in London, according to two people familiar with the transition. During his leadership, HSBC's commercial bank in Asia grew its balance sheet from about $80.1 billion in 2010 to $134 billion as of June according to the bank's financial statements.

Effective from October 1, British national Skelton will be responsible for leading all aspects of the commercial banking business across the markets in the region including global trade and receivables finance as well as payments and cash management.

Skelton will report jointly to Simon Cooper, group managing director and chief executive, global commercial banking and Peter Wong, group managing director, deputy chairman and chief executive.

Paul Skelton

“He will focus on capturing the region’s emerging wealth by connecting corporates to opportunities across the world, with a renewed focus on China’s Pearl River Delta as well as the rising Asean,” said Simon Cooper, HSBC’s global head of commercial banking in a press release on the appointment. 

Prior to this role, Skelton was regional head of commercial banking for HSBC Middle East and North Africa. Before that Skelton spent 13 years in the Asia-Pacific region holding a number of senior roles in HSBC's corporate and investment banking business.

Skelton has over 20 years’ experience dealing with corporate and institutional clients in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Under Quinn’s leadership, HSBC won FinanceAsia’s award for the best commercial bank in the region last year, thanks to its presence in 19 markets across the Asia-Pacific.

The bank continues to meld its commercial banking business with its global banking business. This collaboration has delivered substantial incremental revenue as the bank has leveraged off lending relationships to yield bond, equity and M&A mandates.

Last year HSBC completed 157 capital financing transactions for its commercial banking clients, up from 122 deals in 2013.

While HSBC’s strength lies in Hong Kong, it has been deepening its relationships around the region with its international client base. Commercial banking revenues in Asia last year were bigger outside of Hong Kong than inside the financial hub.

Noel Quinn

The bank remains a leader in trade finance, with a 13.6% market share in global trade. It has more than 3,000 trade specialists and processes a mind-boggling volume of transactions; HSBC processes $1 million of trade turnover every minute, and every second the bank processes over $10 million in payments.

HSBC has also been at the forefront of all things related to the renminbi. It was among the first foreign banks approved to establish a branch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Commercial banking revenue continued to grow in the first half of 2015, particularly in Hong Kong and the UK, HSBC said in its interim results statement on August 3.

The Asian commercial banking business generated a profit before tax of $1.224 billion in the quarter ended June 30 versus $1.218 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

The commercial bank also continues to extend its balance sheet in Asia. Its net loans and advances to customers were $133.67 billion as of June 30 in the region. Loan impairment charges edged higher in Asia, mainly due to an impairment charge in Indonesia.

Quinn was named head of Asia Pacific commercial banking in 2011. He moved to Hong Kong to take up the role from the UK where he was also head of commercial banking.

He was promoted to the level of group general manager in June 2010. Quinn is a veteran HSBC banker who joined the UK-headquartered bank about 27 years ago.

Quinn joined Forward Trust Group, a subsidiary of Midland Bank, in 1987. He led HSBC’s acquisitions of Swan National Motor Finance and Eversholt Leasing.

He has since taken up postings including head of specialised and equity finance at HSBC, group Director of strategy & development at HSBC Insurance Services North America and head of commercial finance Europe.

Quinn qualified as an accountant with Grant Thornton in 1987. He also studied at Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Chicago and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.


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