HSBC says it has begun search for new chairman

The headquarters of HSBC bank in London's Canary Wharf financial district in slight morning mist early March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC HSBA.L has begun the search for a successor to its Chairman Douglas Flint and will aim to nominate a candidate in 2017, Europe's biggest bank said on Friday.

Replacing Flint, 60, would then allow the bank to begin the search for a successor to Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver, the bank said, without giving a precise timeline for that move.

Investors turned the spotlight on succession plans for HSBC’s top two posts after the bank earlier this year put to rest a 10-month long debate over where it should be based.

“The Board aims to nominate my successor during 2017 but the exact timing is clearly dependent upon identifying and securing the appropriate candidate,” Flint said in a letter to shareholders on Friday.

HSBC has previously said that, in a break from tradition, its next chairman will be an external candidate, possibly a non-executive director already on the lender’s board.

Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Susan Fenton