Peter Wong has retired as the “essential” director of HSBC
When Peter Wong announced his retirement this week after serving 10 years as HSBC’s Asian executive, he told co-workers that turning problems into opportunities was “established” in the bank’s DNA.
HSBC went through several difficulties in Europe, the US and South America over the past 10 years – when Wong quietly narrowed the way for Europe’s largest lender to enter Hong Kong’s heaviest stadiums and strong Beijing corridors.
For almost the entire time he became CEO of Asia, $ 8 out of every 10 dollars in the bank was made in the region but half of his debt of more than half of his capital was sent to Europe and the US.
Now, growth in China and Hong Kong has been at the forefront of its global sentiment and more than $ 100bn has been made in the region. The US HSBC business and part of its operations in Europe have been liquidated or sold.
Wong’s links with top Hong Kong scholars and Chinese Communist Party have been particularly important. Allies says the former Hong Kong veteran has become a “key player” at HSBC – he will continue to take on a new role as chairman of a bank in Hong Kong, a position previously held by the global CEO.
Yet the 69-year-old player faced the same challenges he faced last year when he did more than 100 politics for HSBC sign the petition in favor of a strict security law in Beijing, Hong Kong. This was a historic victory in Beijing but brought Wong’s name to the angry political radars of Westminster and Washington.
“It caused a lot of trouble for Noel Quinn and Mark Tucker,” said one former HSBC member, referring to the bank’s chief executive and chairman. “We are very encouraged to contact Peter since he signed the NSL document but this shows that his 40-year career as a very good banker.”
HSBC’s assets have merged with China. Wong’s relationship with the Communist Party – living on his political agenda – is a great help to the bank. He settled a dispute with Beijing after HSBC issued documents to U.S. prosecutors investigating a Chinese religious group in Huawei over alleged wrongdoing.
“The Chinese government views him as a friend and a trustworthy person,” said Sir David Li, chairman of the East Asian Bank and a central bank in Hong Kong. Jeffrey Lam, a member of Hong Kong’s parliamentary council, said: “HSBC is between two hotplates: upstream and the US. Peter has been very careful – to deal with this conflict requires skill.”
Wong, who is also a trusted and banking banker in Hong Kong such as Sir Li Ka-shing, Henry Cheng and Thomas Kwok, was detained from Standard Chartered in 2005 when HSBC realized it had no senior executives from Hong Kong or China. He was already involved in Chinese political business and politics as the chair of the Association of Banks.
His powerful allies in Hong Kong politics have been described as “talkative” and “nonsense”.
“They talk very little but then they mean what they are saying,” Li of BEA said. Peter Ma, chairman of Ping An, a Chinese insurer who is one of HSBC’s chief shareholders, described Wong as a “political chief” of the international banking system in Asia.
As chairman of Hong Kong’s first bank, Wong will remain in central Hong Kong he recited – the most respected merchants in the city. Even he will be changed as the head of Asia two other young friends, will continue to live in Taipan House, a HSBC $ 73m dormitory for its senior executives at its core in the city.
Most importantly, they have played a key role in shaping the future of this region as the global economic center. Hong Kong has been forced to defend its reputation as a global economic powerhouse since the 2019 eruption of anti-democratic protests and the enactment of last year’s national security law.
Wong spends many hours discussing issues that are “critical to our future as a global financial center,” said Joseph Yam, Hong Kong’s first banker and now a lawmaker.
“People blame me [Hong Kong] to be like China, “he added.” It is absurd – Peter can see this.
There are no retirement years at HSBC so the timing of Wong’s departure has raised questions. Another fugitive linked this with the idea of moving four chapters of global business from London to Hong Kong later this year.
“History was very free, now there will be a lot of people on the 34th under 1 Queen’s Road Central [HSBC’s historic local headquarters] I hit him, trying to stick to the most powerful P&L in Hong Kong, ”said the man.
“The looks and faces of tons in Hong Kong,” said a former HSBC official. “That’s why being honored with the chair of the first bank in Hong Kong is so exciting.”
Announcing Wong’s retirement, Quinn said his tenure with Wong “helped establish my belief that HSBC has a bright future as a global bank that can jump east and west”.
As a mediator for HSBC, China mainland, Hong Kong and the rest of the world – including the emerging markets – Wong is used in conflict resolution. As China grows in demand for HSBC, there is likely to be more fires to be extinguished.
“We’ve been strangers in a foreign country for a lifetime,” said a former HSBC executive. “It’s no surprise that complications happen so often.”