HSBC seeks CEO successor as Noel Quinn steps down

The bank's group chief executive said he wants to "pursue a portfolio career going forward", as Q1 earnings beat expectations.

HSBC Holdings’s group chief executive (CEO), Noel Quinn has informed the board of his intention to leave the banking group after nearly five years in the role, according to a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on April 30. 

As a result, the London-headquartered bank's board has begun a formal process to find a successor, considering both internal and external candidates. Quinn, who became group CEO in March 2020, will continue as group CEO during this process. He has a 12-month notice period which expires on April 30, 2025. 

The statement said: “As group chief executive Quinn has overseen a successful transformation of the bank. During his tenure, HSBC has delivered record profits and the strongest returns in over a decade. He has successfully simplified and focused the bank, most recently with the sale of the Canada and Argentina operations and built a leading position on sustainability."

Mark Tucker, HSBC group chairman, thanked Quinn for his leadership since taking up the role in 2019 and for his contribution to HSBC since he first joined in 1987. From 2011 to 2015, Quinn was the regional head of commercial banking for Asia Pacific -- a role based in Hong Kong. 

Tucker said in the statement: “The board would like to pay tribute to Noel’s leadership of the Company. Noel has had a long and distinguished 37-year career at the bank and we are very grateful for his significant contribution to the group over many years. He has driven our transformation strategy and created a simpler, more focused business that delivers higher returns. The bank is in a strong position as it enters the next phase of development and growth.”

Quinn said: “It has been a privilege to lead HSBC. I never imagined when I started 37 years ago that I would have the honour of becoming group chief executive of this great bank. I'm proud of what we have achieved, and it has only been possible because of the talent, dedication, and commitment of the people at HSBC."

He added: "I want to thank them whole-heartedly and wish them continued success for the next stage of the journey. After an intense five years, it is now the right time for me to get a better balance between my personal and business life. I intend to pursue a portfolio career going forward.”

Q1 results 

HSBC also released its Q1 2024 results on April 30, and beat analysts' expectations. Profit before tax decreased by $200 million in Q1 2024 to $12.7 billion, according to a statement. Revenue increased by $600 million to $20.8 billion.  

This included a $4.8 billion gain following the completion of the disposal of its banking business in Canada (inclusive of fair value gains on the hedging of the sale proceeds), which was partly offset by a $1.1 billion impairment recognised in Q1 2024 following the classification of its business in Argentina as held for sale.

The bank said that the "reduction in profit before tax also reflected the nonrecurrence of a $2.1 billion reversal in Q1 2023 of an impairment relating to the sale of our retail banking operations in France, which was subsequently reinstated in Q4 2023 prior to completion" and a $1.5 billion gain recognised in Q1 2023 on the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK. 

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