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HSBC chairman to move into politics

HSBC chairman, Stephen Green, is stepping down to take up the post of trade minister with the Coalition Government.

Aged 61, Mr Green joined HSBC in 1982, serving as group chief executive from 2003 to 2006 before moving on to group chairman.

The new comes alongside Barclays’ announcement that chief executive John Varley is to be replaced by Bob Diamond, some time next year.

Mr Diamond is currently president of Barclays PLC and chief executive officer of the group’s Corporate and Investment Banking and Wealth Management units.

Both Mr Green and Mr Varley are well respected bankers, having enhanced their reputations by steering their banks through the financial crisis without the need for taxpayer support.

Separately, a senior HSBC executive has recently warned that the bank may relocate its London headquarters if the Government insists that UK domiciled banks separate out their retail and investment activities.

HM Treasury’s Independent Commission on Banking is currently examining the systemic risk posed by Britain’s larger banks, and HSBC’s head of investment banking, Stuart Gulliver, has said the review has “significant implications” for the location of the group’s headquarters.

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