HSBC Chief Steps Down After Less Than 2 Years

HSBC announced the surprise departure of its chief executive officer, John Flint, on Sunday night, saying the bank needed a change at the top to address “a challenging global environment.”

The move comes nearly a year and a half after Mr. Flint, 51, took the helm of the Britain-based global banking giant. His departure was announced along with the company’s second quarter results, initially scheduled for Monday, which showed first-half pretax profit was 15.8 percent higher than in 2018.

The lender also declared that it would buy back up to $1 billion of its own stock, defying some analysts’ expectations that it might pause its strategy of returning extra capital to investors.

“The board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us,” Mark Tucker, the company’s chairman, said in a statement.

Noel Quinn, 57, the head of HSBC’s global commercial banking unit, will hold the role of interim chief executive, the lender said.

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