The iconic Lion statue in front of the HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong on March 17, 2021. Photo: AFP / EYEPRESS / Sunny Mok

London-headquartered HSBC bank is relocating four senior executives to Hong Kong as it seeks to extend its business reach across its main market, Asia.

In a staff memo seen by AFP on Thursday, HSBC fleshed out a strategy unveiled in February that aims to redouble efforts to seize more of the Asian market.

HSBC makes 90 percent of its profit in Asia, with China and Hong Kong the major drivers of growth.

As a result, it has found itself more vulnerable than most to the increasingly frayed relationship between China and western powers – especially after Beijing imposed a draconian security law on Hong Kong last year and cracked down on democracy supporters.

“I want more of our global executive team to be located in key growth regions, and Asia of course is central to our future growth, investment and innovation,” HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn said in a memo to staff

While Quinn will remain in London, the chief executives of the bank’s units handling global commercial banking, wealth and personal banking and global asset management as well as a co-CEO of the global banking and markets division will all relocate to Hong Kong this year.

HSBC’s strategy sees it ploughing some $6 billion into shoring up operations across Asia, with a particular focus on targeting wealth management in the increasingly affluent region.

Quinn insisted that London would continue to play a key role in the bank’s growth. He noted that a co-CEO of the global banking and markets unit will remain in the capital.

Quinn said it reflected “the important role that London will continue to play as a global hub for client coverage, risk management and liquidity.”

He added: “We remain fully committed to the UK, both in terms of our domicile and our significant businesses and client base in the country.”