HSBC CEO Noel Quin to retire; first-quarter profit beats expectations – HSBC Holdings PLC (LON:) said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Noel Quin will retire after nearly five years in the role, in which he oversaw the bank's Major transformation, significantly improved cash position and profits.

Quinn is stepping down after 37 years at HSBC and will remain as chief executive until the board finds a successor.

Quinn led a major streamlining of HSBC's operations during his tenure and most recently oversaw the sale of its Canadian and Argentinian businesses. He also led the bank's refocusing on its core consumer banking business in Europe and Asia.

HSBC has posted huge profits over the past two years, while its cash and capital position have also improved significantly.

“After five intense years, now is the perfect time for me to achieve a better balance between my personal and business lives. I intend to continue a portfolio career,” Quinn said in the statement.

Quinn's retirement coincides with HSBC's first-quarter earnings. The bank's first-quarter pretax profit was $12.65 billion, slightly lower than last year but above Bloomberg's forecast of $12.61 billion.

Net interest income fell slightly to $8.7 billion in the quarter. While the bank has benefited from rising interest rates over the past two years, the ensuing slowdown in credit activity is expected to weigh on its overall earnings.

The bank announced $3 billion in new share buybacks, building on its previous buyback program.

HSBC Hong Kong shares (HK: ) were flat after the news was announced.

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