Ex-HSBC chief Flint leads race to run £22bn UK Infrastructure Financial institution

CEO John Flint of HSBC attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

2021-08-21 14:51:00

John Flint, the previous HSBC Holdings chief government, is in talks with Whitehall officers about turning into the inaugural boss of the federal government’s new £22bn UK Infrastructure Financial institution (UKIB).

Sky Information has learnt that Mr Flint, who left HSBC two years in the past, is among the many main candidates to run the brand new lender.

The UKIB has been charged by Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, with aiding Britain’s 2050 internet zero carbon emissions goal by prioritising funding in initiatives that sort out local weather change.

In his Funds in March, Mr Sunak stated the financial institution would obtain £12bn in preliminary state funding in addition to an additional £10bn in authorities mortgage ensures.

That funding would allow it to “unlock greater than £40bn of financing for key initiatives throughout the UK”, the Treasury stated.

Mr Flint is just not thought to have formally agreed to grow to be the UKIB’s first chief government, and it was unclear this weekend whether or not he had been provided the job.

Banking sources stated, nevertheless, that he could be a “extremely credible” contender for the submit.

Touchdown the function would signify a comeback for Mr Flint, whose three-decade profession at HSBC was dropped at an abrupt halt in August 2019 by the board of Europe’s largest lender.

 Treasury building in London

He clashed with the financial institution’s chairman, Mark Tucker, over the tempo of decision-making at HSBC, however was perceived by many to have been the sufferer of a brutal defenestration.

Mr Flint has spoken of his need for a brand new problem however has stated little publicly about his departure from HSBC.

Since then, a variety of prime UK financial institution roles have grow to be vacant, together with the chief government’s roles at Lloyds Banking Group and Santander UK, however Mr Flint is just not thought to have featured considerably in both recruitment course of.

He was named in February as a member of a Treasury panel reviewing the ring-fencing regime arrange within the aftermath of the 2008 banking disaster.

That evaluation, which is being chaired by the previous Customary Life Aberdeen boss Keith Skeoch, is anticipated to conclude later this yr.

In April, the previous British Land chief government Chris Grigg was named because the UKIB’s chairman, having helped to determine the establishment through the previous 4 months.

Its headquarters is in Leeds, one among a number of state-backed establishments that ministers have positioned outdoors London as a part of the federal government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.

The brand new lender formally opened for enterprise in June and stated it might start lending to native authorities “later in the summertime”.

Labour has criticised ministers for failing to be sufficiently bold with the scope of the UK Infrastructure Financial institution, arguing that it will likely be far smaller than comparable establishments in nations equivalent to Germany.

It’s unclear how a lot the UKIB chief government could be paid for the function.

The identities of different potential candidates for the function was additionally unclear this weekend.

Neither the Treasury nor Mr Flint may very well be reached for remark.

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