Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - Page 10 News List

London to remain HSBC’s headquarters: chairman

AFP AND AP, SHANGHAI, BERLIN AND LONDON

The headquarters of banking giant HSBC will remain in London, departing chairman Stephen Green said yesterday, dismissing market speculation that its head office might move to Hong Kong.

The lender moved its chief executive to Hong Kong in February to highlight the importance of Asia — particularly China — but London remains its headquarters, Green said on the sidelines of a board meeting in Shanghai.

Green, who is leaving to become Britain’s trade minister, spoke during a break from the meeting that is expected to endorse the recent shake-up of the bank’s top management.

HSBC confirmed on Friday that chief financial officer Douglas Flint would succeed Green as group chairman and Stuart Gulliver, its head of investment banking, would replace Michael Geoghegan as chief executive.

Flint said major challenges and opportunities lie ahead as the global financial system continues to recover from the 2008 crisis.

Separately, German financial authorities are discussing how to reform the nation’s public-sector banks to make them more competitive against the backdrop of the global economic downturn.

German Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter said Tuesday’s talks were only the beginning of a process aimed at making the seven so-called Landesbanken more healthy in the long term. The banks racked up huge losses after the US subprime housing market crash and Germany’s 16 states were forced to bail them out.

Heinrich Haasis, president of the DSGV association overseeing the banks, said their number must be reduced for them to remain competitive, the news agency DAPD reported.

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