HSBC ousts CEO John Flint after less than 18 months at the helm

The lender said that CEO John Flint had resigned ‘by mutual agreement with the board’ on Monday, with the bank also announcing thousands of job cuts amid a surge in half-year profits.

HSBC has parted ways with its CEO John Flint after just 18 months at the helm, with him resigning ‘by mutual agreement with the board’.

The move likely shocked investors, as it coincided with the lender releasing a strong set of half-year results that saw profits soar and the bank even credit Flint for its good performance.

Noel Quinn was appointed as interim group CEO while the bank searches for a full-time replacement.

HSBC results: key figures

HSBC recorded post-tax profit of $9.9 billion, up 18.1%, and pre-tax profit of $12.4 billion, representing a 15.8% increase compared with the same period a year prior.

The lender benefited from a $828 million dilatation gain associated with the completion of the merger between the Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank.

HSBC reported earnings per share of $0.42, with a return on average tangible equity climbing 150 basis points to 11.2%, including c.120bps favourable impact of the merger. Another upside of the deal was that its common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio rose by 30bps from December 31 2018 to 14.3%.

The bank also announced that it intends to initiate a share buy-back of up to $1bn, which it will commence shortly.

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HSBC downgrades 2020 financial outlook

Despite the strong set of half-year results, the bank said that it no longer expects to achieve its 6% return on tangible equity (RoTE) target in the US by 2020.

‘Interest rates in the US dollar bloc are now expected to fall rather than rise, and geopolitical issues could impact a significant number of our major markets,’ HSBC said.

‘In the near term, the nature and impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union remain highly uncertain,’ the bank added.

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