HSBC’s retail and commercial business unit head of the UK Joe Garner has quit as part of the company’s shake up. Joe Garner was appointed as the UK’s unit head in 2010. Garner is also on the City regulator’s practitioner panel. The reasons for his departure was due to the fact that Mr. Garner wanted some time out of the banking sector. He had previously worked for Procter & Gamble as well as Dixons before moving to HSBC. Garner was quite vocal about calling for changes to the country’s “Free Banking” model and that the only way to move ahead was for banks to levy transaction charges, echoing similar sentiments from Barclay’s new Chairman, Antony Jenkins as well.
Mr. Garner is currently being seen a possible candidate to head the Co-Operative Group which is expected to acquire a lot of branches from Llyods Group.
There has been no additional comments from HSBC besides the staff briefing earlier this morning.
Antonio Simoes is expected to be his replacement. Antonio currently is the head of retail baking and wealth management for Europe. It is learnt that the shake up in the top managed has been approved by the FSA.
Britain’s banking sector is currently undergoing an unprecedented reforms with investment banking operations as well as retail being ring fenced. Along with HSBC many other banks have been caught up in a number of scandals from LIBOR rigging to missing the PPI.
The shake up in the top management at HSBC comes approximately 2 months after the US senate committee which was investigating a money laundering scandal involving the bank described its culture as “pervasively polluted.”
It is alleged that HSBC was involved in shady funds from places such as Mexico, Iran, Cayman Islands to name a few. HSBC is Europe’s second largest bank and is expected to pay a settlement amount upwards of £640 million.
The PPI scandal meanwhile sees the bank paying funds over £500 million as compensation to the victims of the PPI mis-selling. Britain’s banks have allocated over £2 billion for settlements involving the PPI mis-selling.
Besides the settlement, HSBC was also asked to pay a lawyer, compensation charges of £112,543. The lawyer was advised by an investment fund advisor to invest £1.2 million in the AIG enhanced fund calling it risky and negligent.