Tuesday 16 October 2018

RBS finance chief Ewen Stevenson swaps lenders to take role at HSBC

The exact date of the move has yet to be confirmed.

RBS’s outgoing chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson is joining HSBC (Andrew Milligan/PA)
RBS’s outgoing chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson is joining HSBC (Andrew Milligan/PA)

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

The outgoing finance chief of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Ewen Stevenson is switching lenders under plans to replace HSBC’s Iain Mackay.

HSBC confirmed on Monday that Mr Stevenson will take the reins from Mr Mackay, who will retire as executive director and group finance director after a total of 11 years at HSBC.

The exact date of the handover has yet to be confirmed, with his appointment still subject to final regulatory approval, an HSBC spokesman said.

Mr Stevenson was widely seen as a contender to replace RBS chief executive Ross McEwan, but tendered his surprise resignation ahead of the lender’s AGM last month.

The announcement follows earlier reports that Mr Stevenson had been approached by HSBC for the role, with RBS having only said that he was leaving to “take up an opportunity elsewhere”.

RBS also did not confirm the date of his departure but said the departing finance chief would remain in his position to oversee an “orderly handover” and said it was launching an immediate search for his successor.

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HSBC’s UK headquarters in Canary Wharf, London (PA)

HSBC’s newly installed chief executive John Flint thanked Mr Mackay for his service.

“He has played a leading role implementing group strategy, ensuring the firm’s compliance with regulatory standards and improving the quality of our financial reporting.

“I would like to thank Iain on behalf of the board for his unstinting commitment to HSBC and wish him well for the future.”

Mr Stevenson will join the bank after spending four years as chief financial officer at RBS, which followed a stint at Credit Suisse, where he served as co-head of the EMEA investment banking division and co-head of the global financial institutions group.

Mr Flint said: “Ewen is a highly experienced executive with a proven track record as a chief financial officer.

“He is both a strategic thinker and a highly accomplished expert in his field. He brings a wealth of international experience and will be a welcome addition to the senior management team.”

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Mr Stevenson had been seen as a candidate to replace RBS chief executive Ross McEwan, pictured (PA)

HSBC earlier this month issued a strategy update which outlined plans to “simplify” the business, invest 15-17 billion US dollars (£11.2 billion-£12.7 billion) in tech and turn around its US division.

The strategy – which was widely seen as a continuation of plans put in motion by former HSBC chief Stuart Gulliver – includes plans to boost growth across its Asia business, complete the ring-fencing of its UK bank, increase its share of the mortgage market and improve customer service.

Those plans are meant to help HSBC deliver a return on tangible equity (RoTE) – an industry measure of net profit – of more than 11% by the end of 2020.

In the meantime, HSBC said it expects to report mid-single digit growth in revenue between 2018 and 2020 and is likely to see low to mid-single digit growth in operating expenses.

HSBC shares were trading down by more than 2.2% in afternoon trading.

Press Association

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