HSBC says four senior bankers to relocate to Hong Kong as it extends pivot to Asia

The shift, which has been widely anticipated, would see Barry O'Byrne, the head of its global commercial bank; Greg Guyett, co-CEO of its global banking and markets business; and Nuno Matos, head of its wealth and personal banking segment, relocate to the city in the second half of this year, according to an internal memorandum seen by the Post. All three sit on the bank's group executive committee.

Nicolas Moreau, head of asset management, is also relocating later this year.

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"As you know, an important part of our global strategy is to base more of our leadership population in Asia, and so it is a logical step to locate more members of our global executive team in the region," Quinn said in the memo. "The move will also create significant opportunities for collaboration across the businesses in Asia."

Georges Elhedery, co-CEO of global banking and markets, will remain in the UK, reflecting his leadership of the markets and securities services operations and London's role "as a global hub for client coverage, risk management and liquidity", Quinn said.

Some additional roles may relocate to Hong Kong, but "we are not planning any large-scale movement of jobs from London to Hong Kong as a result of this decision", Quinn said.

A HSBC spokeswoman confirmed the contents of the memo on Wednesday.

The shift means the three business segments that account for the bulk of HSBC's revenue will have their top executives based out of the city and comes as the bank is shifting more capital away from the US and Europe to growth markets in Asia.

HSBC CEO Noel Quinn. Photo: AFP/HSBC alt=HSBC CEO Noel Quinn. Photo: AFP/HSBC>

HSBC is the largest of the city's three currency-issuing banks and Asia accounted for 59 per cent of its operating income in 2020.

Quinn previously confirmed in February that the lender was considering moving some senior leaders to Hong Kong.

"We think it would be good to have them closer to where the opportunity for growth is and to serve our clients in Asia directly," Quinn said at the time. "That's something I benefited from myself when I was in Hong Kong."

The bank itself will continue to maintain its headquarters in London, with Quinn and chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson remaining in the UK.

"While these moves underscore the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to our strategy, I also want to emphasise the crucial role our global network will continue to play in our plans," Quinn said in Wednesday's memo. "To achieve our ambitions, including in Asia, we must maintain our significant international client franchise, which requires a strong presence and capabilities across our network."

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