Aug 5, 2019

HSBC: the bank in need of a ‘superhero’ chief

HSBC reported second-quarter net profits of $4.4bn, up 7 per cent compared with the same period last year, on revenues that were 10 per cent higher at $14.9bn. The former CEO's style might not have mattered but for a growing sense of alarm among directors, who felt that he lacked a plan to prepare the bank for falling interest rates or the escalating trade war between the US and China. Although the bank is among a handful of global institutions that did not need government funding during the global financial crash, it has struggled to keep pace with rivals since the crisis ended. A telling statistic, cited by the chief executive of a rival bank, is the lender's valuation versus its competitors over the past decade. In 2009, HSBC had a market capitalisation of $199bn - more than JPMorgan and Bank of America. He added: "You almost need a Marvel superhero to run the bank."

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