>> Europe's biggest bank breaking with tradition on Monday. HSBC tapping an outsider for its top job, appointing Asian insurance company, AIA Group boss, Mark Tucker, as Chairman. He'll replace Douglas Flint who said last year he planned to step down in 2017. Lawrence White is Reuters' UK banking correspondent.
>> So this is the first time in HSBC's 152 year history that they've appointed an external chairman. So it's a bit of a departure for them. But something investors have been wanting for years. To get a bit of fresh blood and fresh perspective into the running of Europe's biggest bank.
So Mark Tucker will be seen as a good choice by Investors in HSBC. He's decisive, he's hardworking, he's grown insurer AIA to record profits in Asia. So he will be seen as a great choice to lead the bank forwards.>> The one-time professional footballer will take over the role in October and will be put to the test from the get-go.
>> So probably Tucker's biggest challenge is to restore profit growth. HSBC's return on equity last year was a pitiful mess than 1% against their long time target of 10%. So his biggest challenge really is to get the profit engine going again. And that's gonna be a tough task, given the global low interest rate environment.
>> One of his first major tasks, finding a new CEO to replace Stuart Gulliver. Flint and Gulliver's retirement wraps up one of the longest serving management partnerships at HSBC. Together they reshaped the group during tough times for global banks, slashing more than 43,000 jobs. And selling assets worldwide to bring the business back on track.
Whoever ends up as chief executive has a major challenge ahead of them. Boosting profits against the backdrop of low interest rates. And falling demands for loans in HSBC's twin home markets of Britain and Hong Kong.