Mark Tucker, the chairman of HSBC Holdings, is to take on the chairmanship of the City’s leading lobbying group as Britain’s professional and financial services industries stare down the barrel of a possible no-deal Brexit.
Sky News understands that Mr Tucker is likely to be named as the new chairman of TheCityUK in the coming days.
If confirmed, he will succeed John McFarlane, the outgoing chairman of Barclays, who will step down from his role at TheCityUK in the spring.
The lobbying group represents an industry accounting for nearly 10% of the UK’s total economic output, employing more than 2.3m people – two-thirds of whom work outside London.
The City has become increasingly alarmed at the prospect of a hard Brexit, with a slew of international banks, insurers and asset managers activating contingency plans to enable them to continue serving EU-based clients after 29 March.
Since the Brexit vote in 2016, trade groups across the sector have pleaded for a lengthy transitional period to allow them to adapt to life without passporting – the EU’s single market in financial services.
Under the leadership of Miles Celic, its chief executive, TheCityUK has warned repeatedly of the impact of a disruptive departure from the EU on British industry and on the European companies which are financed using UK-based services.
Earlier this month, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, attempted to ease the industry’s fears in an address to TheCityUK’s annual dinner.
Mr Tucker, who took over as HSBC’s chairman last year, will be viewed as a logical choice to succeed Mr McFarlane.
A former chief executive of Prudential, the FTSE-100 insurer, he spent five years as chairman of AIA Group, the Hong Kong-based insurance company, before returning to London.
Mr Tucker also holds the chairmanship of Discovery, a South African insurance company.
At TheCityUK, where he already sits on its advisory council, he will help shape the organisation’s policy contributions in a range of areas, including attempting to preserve the international competitiveness of the industries it represents.
The group’s board members also include Rajesh Agrawal, London’s deputy mayor for business, and Craig Donaldson, the embattled chief executive of Metro Bank.
TheCityUK is also expected to appoint a replacement for Paul Manduca, the Prudential chairman, as chairman of its advisory council later this year.
TheCityUK could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
(c) Sky News 2019: HSBC chairman Tucker to take helm of City lobbying group