HSBC veteran Phillips to go away months after scathing memo | Enterprise Information


An HSBC veteran criticised by an nameless group of colleagues in a scathing memo final yr is to step down after greater than a decade as one of many Metropolis’s main funding bankers.

Sky Information has learnt that Robin Phillips, HSBC’s co-head of worldwide banking, is to go away the position within the coming months.

Mr Phillips, whose retirement is predicted to be introduced internally on Thursday, will hand the reins of the unit – certainly one of 4 within the international banking and markets division (GBM) of Europe’s largest lender – to Greg Guyett, who was named its different co-head final autumn.

Sources mentioned that Mr Phillips had signalled his want to step down after 13 years within the job – a tenure which has made him one of many longest-serving heads of a serious company and funding banking unit within the trade.

They added that his determination to go away was unconnected to a memo circulated final summer time by a gaggle which claimed to comprise senior executives in HSBC’s GBM unit.

Within the notice, which was handled by HSBC Holdings’ board as a whistleblowing occasion, Mr Phillips was singled out for criticism and accused of overseeing “persistent failure” within the enterprise.

The memo despatched shockwaves by way of HSBC and for a number of weeks was some of the hotly debated matters within the Metropolis.

“We’re fully fed up and demoralised and haven’t any confidence in any respect within the present management,” it mentioned.

“Phillips and his coterie needs to be changed by the world-class funding banking professionals which HSBC deserves.”

The letter was despatched final August to board members together with Mark Tucker, HSBC’s chairman, and John Flint, chief government.

Sources mentioned on Wednesday that an investigation carried out in accordance with whistleblowing procedures had fully exonerated Mr Phillips of any wrongdoing.

Allies of the veteran banker identified that he had helped to steer a key a part of HSBC’s GBM enterprise by way of each the monetary disaster of 2008 and the traumas within the eurozone which started two years later.

They added that the memo had unfairly tainted Mr Phillips’ status and accused its authors envy and a misunderstanding of the strategic targets of HSBC’s international banking operations.

Figures disclosed this week within the group’s annual outcomes for 2018 confirmed a 2% rise in revenues within the unit collectively headed by Mr Phillips to simply over $four.1bn.

General, HSBC’s reported pre-tax revenue for final yr was $19.9bn, beneath analysts’ expectations.

HSBC has struggled to overturn the notion in some elements of the funding banking trade that its efficiency has been constantly outshone by rivals.

Nonetheless, its concentrate on enterprise areas uncared for by Wall Road giants akin to Goldman Sachs has meant that GBM has continued to account for a considerable minority of HSBC’s huge international revenues.

Up to now yr, Mr Phillips’ division has attracted a cluster of high-profile bankers from rivals akin to JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.

HSBC is likely one of the lenders best-positioned to use rising commerce flows between the world’s faster-growing economies.

It additionally continues to exhibit robust efficiency in companies akin to money administration and overseas change.

The general GBM operation is run by Samir Assaf, one other long-serving government on the group.

An HSBC spokesman declined to touch upon Wednesday, whereas Mr Phillips couldn’t be reached for remark.

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