HSBC gears up to shake up its board of directors

Tim Wallace
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Rona Fairhead has been on the board since 2004
British banking giant HSBC is planning to shake up its boardroom, as long-serving directors prepare to leave the institution.

Non-executives Rona Fairhead and Simon Robertson are expected to serve on the board for another year, and the bank’s headhunters are looking for candidates to join the top committee.

HSBC is understood to retain recruiters MWM Consulting for this type of work.

Fairhead is chair of HSBC North America, while Robertson is deputy chairman of the group.

The bank had previously noted that the pair had stayed on the board for more time than is usually considered best practice.

To ensure the non-executives remain independent and are not too close to the firm, they are typically replaced after roughly eight to 10 years.

Fairhead has been on the board since 2004, while Robertson has served since 2006.

Fairhead came under fire from MPs on the Public Accounts Committee earlier this year following revelations about tax evasion among clients of HSBC’s Swiss private bank.

She was also a target for attention from parliamentarians because of one of her other roles, as chairman of the BBC trust.

HSBC declined to comment on any recruitment process.

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