Europe's largest bank HSBC Holdings is planning to appoint former Prudential head Mark Tucker as chairman in the first stage of its management overhaul, according to reports.
The bank is reportedly lining Mr Tucker up as Douglas Flint's replacement in
Mr Tucker, who is currently head of AIA Group and fomer chief executive of Prudential, is in reportedly in discussions with HSBC over the role, which is one of the most important roles in the industry.
If the move goes ahead, Mr Tucker will replace Douglas Flint who is expected to step down from the role he has held for six years. It would mark the first time HSBC has appointment an external chairman, who it is said will have a non-executive role.
The appointment is planned as the first in a string of management changes expected at the bank, with one of the new chairman's first tasks being to find a successor for current chief executive Stuart Gulliver.
HSBC has been under pressure to revamp its board in the face of shareholder complaints about declining profitability. Mr Flint and Mr Gulliver have struggled to boost the bank in the face of low interest rates, increased compliance and regulatory costs, and fines for misconduct.
HSBC has said it will nominate a chairman this year, with the decision tabled to be announced at its annual meeting. At the end of last year it appointed Henri de Castries and Paul Walsh as independent non-executive directors.
The bank has notified regulators in London and Hong Kong about the proposed appointment, according to Sky News. Until a deal is signed it could fall apart.
If Mr Tucker, who started his career as a professional football player, accepts the position he could be forced to renounce his non-executive directorship at Goldman Sachs and relocate to the UK.
HSBC shares have inched up 2.8pc this year following a 1.8pc increase in 2016 on declines of 12pc in 2015.