HSBC chief executive John Flint has stepped down after the bank said it believed a change was needed “to meet the challenges” it faces.
The bank said in a statement that Mr Flint had resigned the role “by mutual agreement with the board”.
“Although not carrying out his day-to-day duties after today, he remains available to assist HSBC with the transition,” the bank added.
Noel Quinn will be the interim chief executive until a successor is appointed.
HSBC chairman Mark Tucker said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank John for his personal commitment, dedication and the significant contribution that he has made over his long career at the bank.
“Today’s positive interim results particularly reflect John’s achievements as group chief executive.”
Mr Tucker said that although HSBC “is in a strong position to deliver on its strategy”, a change of chief executive was necessary.
“In the increasingly complex and challenging global environment in which the bank operates, the board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us,” he said.
Mr Flint’s departure came as HSBC announced its first-half results for 2019, which showed a rise in pre-tax profit of 15.8% to 12.4 billion dollars (£10.2 billion). Its profit after tax was up 18.1% to 9.9 billion dollars (£8.13 billion).
The company also said it intends to initiate a share buy-back of up to 1 billion dollars (£558 million), “which we expect to commence shortly”.
Mr Flint said it had been a privilege to spend his “entire career with HSBC” and that he was “proud of what we achieved together”.
“I have agreed with the Board that today’s good interim results indicate that this is the right time for change, both for me and the bank.
“After almost 30 years with HSBC, I will be sad to leave but I do so looking forward to a new personal challenge, and confident that our people will continue to serve the bank’s stakeholders in the best possible way.”
External candidates will be considered in the search for a new chief executive, the company said.
Mr Quinn, who will take up the role in the interim, has been chief executive of global commercial banking, a position he has held since 2015.
The bank added: “He brings a track record of business success, strong client relationships and deep global expertise from his 32 years with HSBC.”