HSBC CEO threatens to quit if not promoted to chairman role: FT

Earlier this month, HSBC had announced its Chairman Stephen Green would step down before the end of the year, in order to become a Trade Minister in British Prime Minister David Cameron's Government.

Attributing to two people familiar with the bank's succession planning, the Financial Times stated, "Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC, has threatened to resign from his job, if he is not elevated to the chairman's role."

The report revealed that at a meeting last week, Geoghegan reacted badly to the suggestion that he might be passed over by someone else for the post of Chairman.

FT quoted one of the people close to the matter as saying, "He was told that the board was not ready to give him the chairmanship and he was not happy."

HSBC is set to take the final decision on the succession at a board meeting to be held next week in Shanghai.

Executives at the bank said Geoghegan would be unhappy to see another chairman appointed over the top of him, particularly the favourite for the job, ex-Goldman Sachs banker John Thornton, the report said.

However, HSBC has a history of elevating its chief executive to chairman.

Besides, if Geoghegan does resign, the favourite to succeed him as chief executive would be Stuart Gulliver, currently the investment bank boss.

However, FT cited people close to Geoghegan as saying that he might well not follow through on his threat to leave.

HSBC has emerged healthier than many other banks from the financial crisis, largely because of its focus on emerging markets, particularly Asia.

It has pledged to grow by selective acquisition and is midway through a deal to acquire South Africa's Nedbank valuing the bank at about USD 11 billion.

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