Magazine article American Banker

HSBC's U.S. Plans No Clearer after Prickly Shareholder Meeting

Magazine article American Banker

HSBC's U.S. Plans No Clearer after Prickly Shareholder Meeting

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Cumming

HSBC Holdings executives said little about the future of their U.S. bank and other underperforming businesses at a sometimes contentious annual shareholder meeting Friday.

Europe's largest bank is undergoing a strategic review to improve its returns and make it easier to manage, and the U.S. business is among the units that could be in for radical changes, company executives said in February.

On Friday, executives offered no new details of their plans for the U.S. business and said that they would have more information on strategic progress at an investor day on June 9. The McLean, Va.-based HSBC Bank USA has asset of $185 billion and reported a return on equity of 3% last year, compared with 7.3% for the whole company.

Other major moves are under consideration, too. Chairman Douglas Flint said HSBC may move its headquarters away from London because of new regulations in the United Kingdom. He did not say where the bank may move.

"As part of the broader strategic review taking place, the board has therefore now asked management to commence work to look at where the best place is for HSBC to be headquartered in this new environment," Flint said. "The question is a complex one and it is too soon to say how long this will take or what the conclusion will be, but the work is underway."

Despite occasionally harsh criticism of the company's recent scandals and lagging returns, shareholders voted to confirm all the bank's board nominees Friday. However, nearly 24% of investors opposed the directors' remuneration report, suggesting some unhappiness with the company's compensation policies.

The executives defended their board's performance, while apologizing, as they have many times before, for the company's past ethical and legal failures. Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver acknowledged "unacceptable historic practices and behavior" and said the bank has "fundamentally transformed" its controls and culture since he and Flint were put in charge in 2011. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.