Istanbul: With the Asian economies doing relatively well even in the times of global recession, HSBC chairman Stephen Green termed Asia as the new focal point of global economy.
In an interview with the BBC, Green said, "Two-thirds of our business is in Asia. It's where we think the centre of gravity of the world's economy is shifting," he said. The statement assumes significance in view of the fact that last month; HSBC announced that its chief executive Michael Geoghan would move to Hong Kong from London.
Green, however, played down the development saying that the bank's decision did not mean it was turning its back on London. He also said that London was secure as a major financial centre, but would lose market share as Asia developed.
Talking about recession, the HSBC chief said that the entire banking industry "owes the real world an apology," adding, “"It also owes the real world a commitment to learn the lessons. Some of them are about governance and ethics and culture within the industry," he said.
"You can't do all this simply by rules and regulations." He also called for a change in culture to improve people’s perception of bankers. Green, who was in Istanbul for the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, didn’t advocate tighter regulations for the banks saying that they (banks) would themselves learn from the crisis.
First Published: Wednesday, October 07, 2009, 12:02