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Group Chief Executive of HSBC, Neil Quinn, is retiring after a five-year tenure in the leadership role at the multinational bank.

Quinn informed the Board of his decision today (30 April), but will remain in his position for around a year until a new CEO is found. HSBC states that it has already begun a formal process considering both internal and external candidates for the role.

The outgoing CEO first joined the bank in 1987 when he began a career with Forward Trust Group, a subsidiary of Midland Bank, which now trades as HSBC UK. 

He rose through the ranks over the years to hold a series of Director, Head of Department and Managing Director roles, before becoming Chief Executive in 2019 as the replacement for John Flint, who stepped down in 2018.

“It has been a privilege to lead HSBC,” Quinn remarked. “I never imagined when I started 37 years ago that I would have the honour of becoming Group Chief Executive of this great bank. 

“I am proud of what we have achieved, and it has only been possible because of the talent, dedication, and commitment of the people at HSBC. I want to thank them wholeheartedly and wish them continued success for the next stage of the journey. 

“After an intense five years, it is now the right time for me to get a better balance between my personal and business life. I intend to pursue a portfolio career going forward.”

Under Quinn’s leadership HSBC has continued to maintain its global position as one of the world’s leading banks. The company is active in over 62 countries, led from its headquarters in London, and continues to operate with a traditional focus on East Asian markets.

HSBC pointed to record profits and ‘the strongest returns in over a decade’ during Quinn’s five-year tenure as its CEO. Notable achievements highlighted by the bank include the sale of its Canadian and Argentine operations to simplify and focus its scope.

As of 2023, HSBC Holdings was ranked 20th in Forbes’ Global 2000 rankings of the world’s largest companies with sales of $73.98bn, profit of $22.19bn, assets of $2.9trn and market value of $151.1bn.

Mark Tucker, HSBC Chairman, remarked: “The Board would like to pay tribute to Noel’s leadership of the company. Noel has had a long and distinguished 37-year career at the Bank and we are very grateful for his significant contribution to the Group over many years. 

“He has driven both our transformation strategy and created a simpler, more focused business that delivers higher returns. The bank is in a strong position as it enters the next phase of development and growth.”

Recent developments have seen continuing growth for the company, with full year 2023 revenue rising 30% from $50.7bn to $66.1bn. The year has not been without controversy,  however, with the company hit with a £57.4m fine by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in January.