The HSBC logo hangs outside a bank branch in London, UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON
The HSBC logo hangs outside a bank branch in London, UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON

London  — HSBC Holdings  is overhauling the management of its struggling European business, weeks ahead of a strategic review across its global operations.

Stephen Moss is being promoted into a newly created role overseeing Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Canada from March 1, according to a statement. Moss, who will also look after North Africa and Turkey, is group head of strategy and chief of staff.

James Emmett, CEO of HSBC Europe, will retire after 25 years at the bank and be replaced by Nuno Matos, most recently head of the lender’s Mexican business. The moves come weeks after HSBC announced senior changes that included replacing its top investment banker.

Matos is a close lieutenant of HSBC’s acting CEO Noel Quinn, who is the front-runner to become the bank’s permanent boss. Quinn has led HSBC since last August, when he replaced the ousted John Flint.

The past 18 months have been challenging for HSBC as it has faced a series of problems in its core Asian markets that are responsible for the bulk of the bank’s profits. The US-China trade war and prolonged protests in Hong Kong, the heart of the lender’s business, have hit its business and been exacerbated in recent weeks by the coronavirus outbreak. HSBC’s European arm, meanwhile, lost $944m  in the nine months to September.

HSBC is Europe’s largest bank and has operations in more than 60 countries employing about 237,000 staff. In its third-quarter results the bank reported an adjusted pretax profit of $5.3bn, down 12% and below an analyst consensus for the period.

Quinn and HSBC’s senior management team are set to unveil a new strategy for the bank alongside its full-year results on February 18.

Reuters, quoting people with knowledge of the matter,  reported on Wednesday that HSBC was also set to unveil a new round of job cuts targeting senior international managers.  

 While it was not clear how many jobs would go, the people said the planned move would mainly hit operations in London and to a lesser extent in Asia, which contributes nearly 90% of the bank’s profits. 

Bloomberg