People Moves

HSBC Appoints New Australia CEO

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 3 February 2020


The chief executive's remit includes expanding the bank's market share and revenue in wealth management across Australia. The task comes amid big upheavals in the country's financial sector after a run of regulatory problems.

HSBC has appointed Kaber Mclean as chief executive officer of its Australian unit, with a remit that includes expanding wealth management market share and revenue.

Mclean, who has been with the bank since 1996, has had many senior roles including a stint as president and CEO of HSBC Japan between 2012 and 2016. The appointment takes effect from 1 March and is subject to regulatory and immigration approvals.

He will be succeeding Noel McNamara, who has been the interim CEO since June 2019. McNamara will continue as chief risk officer, HSBC Australia, once Kaber takes up his position.

The appointment comes at a time when domestic Australian banks have been battling to restore fortunes after a series of regulatory scandals and failings. As far as HSBC is concerned, the woes of these rivals could present it with an opportunity as clients consider their options. Late in 2017, the government created a Royal Commission to probe into a raft of problems concerning mis-selling, weak AML controls and lapses, and other shortcomings. Senior figures at a number of banks have resigned and been replaced.

Kaber joined HSBC in 1996 and has had senior leadership roles across Asia-Pacific, North American and Europe, and is experienced in its global banking and markets business. He was president and CEO of HSBC Japan between 2012 and 2016, and more recently worked in regional roles including head of wholesale credit and market risk, Asia-Pacific and head of the remediation office, Asia-Pacific.

"HSBC has commenced a new three-year strategic plan for Australia that aims to capture growth opportunities across its universal banking model, building scale in retail banking and increasing wholesale banking revenues by tapping a greater share of international business activity, targeting growth sectors of the economy and addressing growing demand for sustainable finance," it said.

"We have strong growth ambitions in Australia, and Kaber brings the right breadth of experience, strong leadership capabilities and deep knowledge of our international network," Peter Wong, deputy chairman and CEO of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, said.

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