HSBC chief executive John Flint has stepped down after the bank said it believed a change was needed “to meet the challenges” it faces.
The bank said in a statement that Flint, 51, had resigned the role “by mutual agreement with the board”, saying the bank needed a change at the top to address “a challenging global environment.”
He was promoted to CEO in February 2018 and has worked at the banking giant for 30 years.
“Although not carrying out his day-to-day duties after today, he remains available to assist HSBC with the transition,” the bank added.
Noel Quinn, 57, who has been the head of HSBC’s global commercial banking unit since 2015, will be the interim chief executive until a successor is appointed.
HSBC’s chairman, Mark Tucker, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank John for his personal commitment, dedication and the significant contribution that he has made over his long career at the bank.
Flint’s departure came as HSBC announced it’s first-half financial results for 2019, in which pre-tax profits rose 16% year-on-year. The lender also declared a further buyback of $1bn, defying some analysts’ expectations it might pause its strategy of returning extra capital to investors.
“Today’s positive interim results particularly reflect John’s achievements as group chief executive.”
Tucker said that although HSBC “is in a strong position to deliver on its strategy”, a change of chief executive was necessary.
“In the increasingly complex and challenging global environment in which the bank operates, the board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us,” he said.
Flint said it had been a privilege to spend his “entire career with HSBC” and that he was “proud of what we achieved together”.
“I have agreed with the board that today’s good interim results indicate that this is the right time for change, both for me and the bank.
“After almost 30 years with HSBC, I will be sad to leave but I do so looking forward to a new personal challenge, and confident that our people will continue to serve the bank’s stakeholders in the best possible way.”
External candidates will be considered in the search for a new chief executive, the company said.