HSBC relocates CEO to Hong Kong

25 September 2009

HSBC's chief executive officer (CEO) is to be relocated to Hong Kong, it has been announced.

The bank has revealed that Michael Geoghegan will move from London to the territory in February of next year, as the company looks to increase its focus on the Asian market.

Mr Geoghegan commented that the decision "mirrors the shape of our business".

"Operating from Hong Kong, I will be on the ground in our largest and most important region," he remarked.

However, the financial institution - which is Europe's largest - said it had no plans to shift its base away from the English capital, where it occupies a prominent building on Canary Wharf.

It is to remain in London for tax purposes and will continue to use the Financial Services Authority as its main regulator.

"There is absolutely no question of HSBC pulling away from London," chairman Stephen Green said in a statement.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, James Hamilton of Numis Securities stated: "When HSBC plans for the next five, ten or 20 years they will see that Asia is going to be the biggest driver of their growth. Senior management should be very focused on developing that."

The newspaper noted that activities in China and Hong Kong accounted for around 40 per cent of HSBC's profits during the first half of the year, with analysts predicting that this figure could rise by a further ten per cent over the next decade.

In addition to the move, Mr Geoghegan will also take over as chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, replacing Vincent Cheng on February 1st.

Mr Cheng will continue to be a member of the board of HSBC Holdings and retains his position as chairman of HSBC Bank (China) Company and of HSBC Taiwan.

HSBC has 8,500 offices in 86 countries and territories around the world and holds a presence in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Written by Tony Aynsley

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