Jun 11, 2018

HSBC chief John Flint promises return to ‘growth mode’

John Flint, who was promoted chief of Europe's biggest bank in February, reassured shareholders on Monday that he would maintain the dividend at current levels and continue the group's recent practice of buying back shares. "After a period of restructuring, it is now time for HSBC to get back into growth mode," said Mr Flint, a 28-year veteran of the bank. The HSBC chief said the bank would seek to expand its insurance and wealth management operations in Asia, while looking for opportunities to capitalise on opportunities from China's Belt and Road Initiative and the growth of green finance. Investors were underwhelmed and HSBC shares gave up early gains to trade 5.5p lower at 724.4p. "Joseph Dickerson, banks analyst at Jefferies, said:"Investors may question the acceleration of growth in HSBC's Asian business at this point in the cycle, though the strategy plays to HSBC's strengths and positioning for Belt & Road opportunities. Overall, Mr Flint said the bank's return on tangible equity would be greater than 11 per cent by 2020, targeting mid-single digit growth in annual revenue and low to mid-single digit growth in operating expenses.

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