HSBC Greater China chief quits

Pedro Gonçalves
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HSBC Greater China chief quits

HSBC Greater China chief executive Helen Wong is leaving the Asia-focused lender, in the second high-profile departure from the bank in a week following the ousting of chief executive John Flint.

Wong, who joined HSBC in 1992, "has decided to leave HSBC to pursue an external opportunity", according to the memo sent by her boss, Peter Wong Tung-shun, deputy chairman and chief executive of Asia-Pacific, to all 47,000 staff in the Greater China region which she oversaw, SCMP reports.

Wong's departure comes after the lender's surprise announcement that its group chief executive John Flint has left after 18 months on the job. 

Our four CEOs across Greater China are in a strong position to continue collaborating to deliver our Greater China growth strategy. Therefore, there will be no replacement"

While Flint will be replaced on an interim basis by global commercial banking head Noel Quinn, there will be no replacement for Wong's position, and her responsibilities will be shared by the four heads of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and mainland China.

"Our four CEOs across Greater China are in a strong position to continue collaborating to deliver our Greater China growth strategy. Therefore, there will be no replacement," an HSBC spokesperson said.

They are Diana Cesar in Hong Kong, PH Lau in Macau, David Liao in mainland China and Adam Chen in Taiwan.

Flint and Wong's exit also follows weeks of adverse Chinese media coverage over HSBC's role in the arrest of Huawei finance chief Meng Wanzhou. 

Greater China is HSBC's biggest profit driver, but the banking sector outlook in the region has been clouded by the tit-for-tat tariff war between China and the United States, as well as unrest in Hong Kong.

Despite the headwinds, HSBC's pre-tax profit from its Hong Kong operations still rose 11% to $3.15bn in the second quarter, the bank said.

The spokesperson said Wong's decision to leave had "no connection with Huawei, no connection with former group chief executive John Flint leaving the bank, and no connection with the job cut plan mentioned on 5 August".

 

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