HSBC hires two new female non exec directors, Irene Lee and Pauline van der Meer Mohr

Tim Wallace
Follow Tim
HSBC was fined by regulators over its traders’ roles in alleged forex-rigging (Source: Getty)
Embattled banking giant HSBC appointed a pair of new experienced business names to its board yesterday, in a move that could bolster its governance, after a series of bruising reputational scandals.
Irene Lee is an expert in Asia-Pacific finance, and has served on the boards of finance firms including ING Australia and Hang Seng Bank.
Pauline van der Meer Mohr is a lawyer by training, and has held posts at Royal Dutch Shell, ABN Amro and Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Both bring experience of regulation and sound cultural management to the bank. Lee has experience on the Australian Takeovers Panel, and has also worked on the boards of several governmental organisations.
Meanwhile, van der Meer Mohr served as a member of the Dutch Banking Code Monitoring Commission in the Netherlands from 2010 to 2013.
Both will play an important role monitoring the bank executives’ efforts to clean up behaviour at the lender. Recent scandals include a public outcry over HSBC’s Swiss private bank’s efforts to help customers evade tax. The bank was also fined by regulators over its traders’ roles in alleged foreign exchange benchmark manipulation.
The bank had also been criticised for keeping some non-executives on the board for unusually long periods of time, which critics argue can compromise their independence.


▪Irene Lee studied in the US and UK, and is qualified as a barrister at law in England and Wales.
▪ She rose up the ranks in the financial sector, working at Citicorp in New York, London and Sydney since 1977, before becoming head of corporate finance at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1993.
▪ In 1998, she became chief executive at Sealcorp Holdings.
▪ A wealth of directorships and regulatory roles followed, including at ING Australia, JP Morgan and Hang Seng Bank.


▪ Pauline van der Meer Mohr studied Dutch and English law at universities across Europe.
▪ Her career began as a lawyer at Brauw Blackstone Westbroek from 1985 to 1989, after which she moved to Shell.
▪ Van der Meer Mohr became head of human resources at TNT in 2004, before moving to ABN Amro, then setting up her own consultancy.
▪ In 2010, she became a member of the Dutch Banking Code Monitoring Commission, a position she held until 2013.

Related articles