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19 Feb 2021 | 08:50

HSBC recruits former CBI boss Carolyn Fairbairn as director

(Sharecast News) - HSBC has recruited Carolyn Fairbairn, the former boss of the CBI, as a non-executive director to draw on her connections and political acumen at a time of turbulence for the bank. Fairbairn will join HSBC's board on 1 September and will sit on the bank's remuneration, risk, and nomination and corporate governance committees.

She was director general of the UK's biggest lobby group for five years and stepped down at the end of 2020. She led the CBI's response to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic with measured criticism of the government's actions.

Fairbairn's early career spanned journalism, working in Downing Street and a period as a partner at McKinsey. She has been a senior manager at ITV and a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Services authority.

HSBC chairman Mark Tucker said: "Carolyn has had an exceptional career across numerous industries, both as an executive and non-executive. With the CBI, she demonstrated her ability to navigate and influence various stakeholder groups. This will be of great value to the board in the increasingly uncertain environment we operate in today."

The bank has been buffeted by tensions between China and western countries over trade, security and the repression of protests in Hong Kong. Its board also made itself unpopular with investors over succession planning and the cancelling of its dividend in 2020 under pressure from the Bank of England. UK banks also continue to face political and regulatory pressure over job cuts and branch closures.

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