Jun 11, 2018

Flint sets new course to return HSBC to top-line growth

The new strategy John Flint presented to HSBC investors on Monday is in many ways what you would expect from someone elevated to chief executive after a 28-year career at the bank: continuity and incremental improvement. HSBC is the supertanker of British banking with $2.5tn of assets, close to 230,000 employees and 3,900 offices in 67 countries. So where are the signs of Mr Tucker's fresh eyes in all this? Firstly, as someone who was widely praised for the double-digit annual revenue growth he consistently produced at AIA, Mr Tucker had told colleagues he was keen to return HSBC to top-line growth after a decade of shrinking revenues. Second, Mr Tucker seems to have been taken aback by the level of bureaucracy in HSBC. The new plan aims to simplify the bank's multi-layered organisation, streamline decision-making and speed up service for customers. As the former head of retail banking and wealth management, Mr Flint was always going to channel more capital into that operation at the expense of global banking and markets - HSBC's investment banking unit - which has consistently had a lower return on equity.

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