New HSBC boss eyes return to growth after restructure
By Agence France-Presse
HSBC’s new chief executive said Monday he wanted a return to growth for the banking giant after a huge restructuring that saw the lender exit numerous markets and axe tens of thousands of jobs.
John Flint, who replaced Stuart Gulliver in February, said he plans to invest $15-17 billion (12.7-14.4 billion euros) primarily in growth and technology projects.
“After a period of restructuring, it is now time for HSBC to get back into growth mode,” Flint said in a statement.
“In the next phase of our strategy we will accelerate growth in areas of strength, in particular in Asia and from our international network.”
Flint said that over the next two years, the bank aims to deliver mid-single digit growth in revenue and low to mid-single digit growth in operating expenses.
He added that the updated strategy involves turning around its US business and to increase its share of the home loans market in the UK.
Flint was promoted to the top job after serving as HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management.
After some strong profitable years under Gulliver’s before his retirement, HSBC earnings plunged in 2016 on huge writedowns and restructuring charges.
However, they rebounded strongly last year, in part thanks to a strong Asian performance.
The bank had in 2015 set out a plan to axe 50,000 jobs and exit non-core markets, as it also navigated a series of damaging probes into HSBC operations.
Prior to his departure, Gulliver said that HSBC would likely switch 1,000 jobs to Paris from London owing to Britain’s departure from the European Union due next year.
HSBC, founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, sees its focus firmly in Asia, although it has been based in Britain since 1992.
Shares in HSBC were trading down 0.8 percent at 724.30 pence following Flint’s update, while London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.7 percent overall. (AFP)