According to the bank, Mr Thurston, currently the chief executive officer (CEO) of the bankâs UK operations, will relocate to Hong Kong to take up the role, which he will start at the beginning of March 2011.
As well as taking on responsibility for the institutionâs global retail business, he will manage the retail wealth management division and the transformation of various technology platforms at the bank.
The postholder will report to the group CEO and remain a member of the bankâs board.
Stuart Gulliver, group CEO, said: "I am delighted to announce these management changes which see some of HSBC's most talented and internationally experienced executives take on significant new responsibilities.
âAfter 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.â
Brian Robertson, HSBCâs group chief risk officer, is to take over as UK CEO once Mr Thurston has relocated to take up his new role.
By Jim Ottewill