HSBC retains Sherard Cowper-Coles as consultant amid search for successor

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HSBC retains Sherard Cowper-Coles as consultant amid search for successor

LONDON - HSBC has confirmed that Sherard Cowper-Coles will continue his role as a part-time consultant for the bank throughout 2024, despite recent controversies surrounding his comments on UK-China relations. The financial giant is actively looking for a successor to take over Cowper-Coles' responsibilities in overseeing international government relations.

Cowper-Coles, who has been with HSBC since 2013 after stints at BAE Systems (LON: BAES ) Plc and the UK’s Foreign Office, faced criticism earlier this year due to remarks made at a private event in London in June. He criticized the UK's alignment with US policy towards China, and in July, he made unfavorable comparisons between Arab nations and China. These comments led to his resignation from the Saudi-British Joint Business Council.

Despite these events, HSBC has decided to retain Cowper-Coles with an annual salary of £400,000 ($491,740) for his consultancy services, which require three days of work per week. While his previous compensation details remain undisclosed, it is known that it was lower than the average pay of HSBC's top 20 senior managers, which is around $6 million.

In addition to his consultancy role at HSBC, Cowper-Coles has also set up SCC Consulting Ltd., where he acts as the sole director and consultant. He has further reduced his external commitments by stepping down from directorial roles at The British Omani Society and UK Finclusion.

Paul Rankin has been appointed to temporarily fill Cowper-Coles' role until a permanent successor is identified. During his tenure at HSBC, Cowper-Coles provided advice to Chairman Mark Tucker and other executives on critical issues, including the US sanctions on China's tech sector— a significant area of focus for HSBC given that nearly half of its assets are connected to China.

InvestingPro Insights

HSBC, known by its ticker HSBA, has been demonstrating encouraging financial performance. According to InvestingPro data, the company has a market cap of 143149.38M USD and a P/E ratio of 5.32 as of Q3 2023, which indicates it is trading at a low earnings multiple. This is further supported by the Adjusted P/E ratio of 5.17 in the same period. The company has also shown substantial growth, with a 47.98% increase in revenue in the last twelve months as of Q3 2023.

InvestingPro Tips reveals that HSBC has been consistent in increasing its earnings per share and has raised its dividend for three consecutive years, which is a significant return to shareholders. Furthermore, despite some analysts revising their earnings downwards for the upcoming period, the company remains a prominent player in the banking industry, and it is predicted to be profitable in the current year.

For those interested in more insights, InvestingPro offers numerous additional tips and real-time metrics. These insights can be instrumental in making informed investment decisions, especially for companies like HSBC that play a significant role in the global banking industry.

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