HSBC promotes Paul Thurston

HSBC moves Paul Thurston from London to Hong Kong with a mandate to head retail banking and wealth management as it aims to strengthen its offering in the region.

HSBC has promoted Paul Thurston to the role of chief executive for retail banking and wealth management with effect from March 1 next year.

Thurston will relocate to Hong Kong for this newly created position and will report to Stuart Gulliver, who takes over as group chief executive on January 1. Gulliver too will be based in Hong Kong.

Thurston will be responsible for all aspects of HSBC’s retail banking business globally, including the personal financial services and insurance businesses, and for marketing activities. He will lead the development of HSBC’s retail wealth management business and will direct the retail operations and technology platforms. The head of group marketing for HSBC and the group chief technology and services officer will both report to him.

John Flint, who is CEO of global asset management, will have an additional reporting line to Thurston and will assist him in developing the retail wealth management business. Flint will retain his existing reporting line to Chris Meares, the CEO for global private banking.

This will be Thurston’s second stint in Hong Kong. He was based there between 2000 and 2007 when he headed HSBC’s personal financial services business across Asia-Pacific. He left Hong Kong to become CEO of Grupo Financiero HSBC, Mexico’s fourth-largest banking and financial services institution. He returns to Hong Kong from London where he moved in mid-2008 to take on the role of managing director of UK banking. He is currently CEO of HSBC Bank in the UK, responsible for consumer and commercial banking businesses in the UK.

Thurston will be replaced as CEO of HSBC Bank plc by Brian Robertson who is currently group chief risk officer. Robertson will report to Gulliver and will be charged with managing HSBC’s businesses in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. He will also report to Sandy Flockhart, who is chairman of HSBC Bank plc.

Marc Moses will take on Robertson’s current portfolio as group chief risk officer. Moses joined HSBC in late 2005 from J.P. Morgan. He is currently chief of staff, as well as chief financial and risk officer with responsibility for global banking and markets. Joe Garner will be appointed deputy CEO for the UK and will take on Thurston's current job of heading up the personal financial services and commercial banking businesses in the UK.

"After the financial crisis, I believe customers are thinking more carefully about who they trust with their wealth and savings, and configuring HSBC to realise its full potential in retail banking was always going to be my first priority,” said Gulliver in a written statement. “With the massive wealth creation we see in emerging markets today, the logic for HSBC to build a world-class global wealth business for our customers is absolutely compelling." 

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