Asian Focus

LONDON, September 25, 2009 (AFP) – HSBC on Friday said its chief executive Michael Geoghegan would move to Hong Kong from London to be closer to the banking group’s “largest and most important region” of operation. HSBC, founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, said it would remain headquartered in London and regulated by Britain, while Geoghegan’s relocation would begin from February 1, 2010.

“There is absolutely no question of HSBC pulling away from London. We will operate from two equally strategically important centres for the company,” chairman Stephen Green said in a statement.

“The additional management presence in Hong Kong and focus on our faster-growing markets is absolutely right for HSBC and entirely consistent with the strategy we set out in 2006,” he added.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, added that Geoghegan would also become chairman of the group’s Asia business.

“Operating from Hong Kong, the hub for HSBC’s Asia-Pacific business … Geoghegan will be located in the group’s strategically most important region, with a focus on ensuring its growth potential is fully realised,” HSBC said.

“HSBC Holdings Plc, the group holding company, remains domiciled in the UK and has no plans