Published On: Tue, Apr 14th, 2015

Rona Fairhead Loses Her Seat in HSBC Board Reshuffle

Rona Fairhead may no longer have to punch two clocks, one at HSBC and the other at the BBC Trust

Rona Fairhead


Rona Fairhead, who was criticized or doing double duty as chair of the BBC Trust and board member of HSBC at a time when the BBC is considering reorganizing and the Swiss bank is facing scandals, may be taking time off from both roles. The HSBC is searching for non executive directors to replace Rona Fairhead, chairwoman of HSBC North American Holdings and deputy chairman Simon Robertson.

Controversy erupted at the Swiss bank in February over alleged inappropriate tax breaks given to wealthy clients. Management says it is resolving issues that led to the investigation and that it may choose non-employees to serve on the board. Fairhead served on HSBC’s audit and risk committee. Fairhead said checks should have been in place at HSBC that would have averted the problems.

Meanwhile, George Osbourne told the Radio Times that the Conservative Party proposed getting rid of the BBC Trust and have the BBC regulated by Ofcom, which regulates ITV. Whether this change will be implemented is unclear, but with general dissatisfaction and the BBC’s charter facing renewal, some kind of reform is likely to be put in place. Fairhead agrees with the move to replace the BBC Trust with an external agency, and says reorganization is necessary.

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