By Lawrence White and Valentina Za
LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – UniCredit Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier has ruled himself out of a switch to European rival HSBC <HSBA.L>, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Sunday.
Italy’s biggest bank is set to announce he will remain part of the lender’s plans, ending speculation Mustier was set to take the helm at HSBC after he emerged as a contender last week.
UniCredit declined to comment.
HSBC said last August it will appoint a new CEO within six to twelve months following the shock ouster of John Flint, with his interim replacement Noel Quinn the internal candidate and favorite for the role.
The news of Mustier’s withdrawal will come as a boost for Quinn, who announced on Tuesday an overhaul of HSBC as he auditions for the permanent role under Chairman Mark Tucker.
Quinn announced HSBC would shed $100 billion in assets, shrink its investment bank and revamp its U.S. and European businesses in a drastic overhaul that will mean 35,000 jobs cut over three years.
Analysts and investors had criticized Tucker’s decision not to appoint Quinn as he presented the new strategy.
Mustier arrived at UniCredit in mid-2016 to oversee a turnaround that has seen the bank slash costs and bad debts while also selling assets and new shares to boost capital.
(Reporting By Lawrence White and Valentina Za; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Daniel Wallis)