HSBC Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun has taken on an additional role as chairman of mainland subsidiary HSBC Bank (China).
Wong replaces Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen, who retired in May. The appointment has been approved by mainland regulators and is effective immediately.
'China is the growth engine of the global economy and a key focus of our emerging markets strategy,' Wong said.
'We will continue to leverage our strong brand to build on our position as the leading international bank in China.'
Louis Tse Ming-kwong, a director of VC Brokerage, said it made sense for Wong to take on the additional role of overseeing mainland business. 'Wong has very good knowledge and experience of mainland China, which will be one of the fastest growing markets for HSBC,' Tse said.
'China has an increasing number of wealthy clients nowadays who want to have good investment products to preserve their wealth. HSBC should expand its branch network and products in the mainland to capture these business opportunities.'
Tse, however, said Wong would face many challenges in developing the mainland business.
'Although HSBC is big in international markets, it will still need to expend a lot of effort to compete with domestic lenders, such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and other mainland banks, which have thousands of branches across the country,' Tse said.
Wong, a veteran banker with 30 years' experience, joined HSBC as general manager and executive director in 2005, and was promoted to his current post in February 2009. He was the first Chinese to become the group's Asia-Pacific chief executive.
He joined HSBC from Standard Chartered Bank, where he worked for eight years and was its Hong Kong head between 2000 and 2005. Earlier, he worked for 17 years at Citigroup.
Wong did not train as a banker. Born in Hong Kong in 1951, he studied in the United States and holds a bachelor's degree in computer science, a master's of business administration in marketing and finance, and a master of science in computer science.