HSBC has appointed Ian Stuart as the first chief executive of HSBC UK, the British business that the bank is hiving off to comply with ringfencing regulations.

He takes charge at a crucial time as the bank puts the finishing touches to the operation that will oversee its UK consumer, small business and wealth management operations.

UK banks with more than £25bn of UK deposits are being forced to carve out their UK retail operations into standalone entities by 2019 under a law designed to protect taxpayers from having to bail out banks in the event of another financial crisis.

Mr Stuart, who is currently head of commercial banking for HSBC for the UK and Europe, joined the bank three years ago from Barclays. He left school on his 16th birthday to work in a branch of Bank of Scotland in the Highlands region, and later joined NatWest ahead of its acquisition by RBS, which he left in 2007.

HSBC has said that about 1,000 head-office roles will move from London to Birmingham by 2019. About 350 staff in those roles have either agreed to move to the Midlands city or changed jobs and been replaced by a new hire in Birmingham. The remaining 650 staff will seek a new role at the bank or leave.

The bank has received 1,300 applications from staff in other roles to fill the remaining 650 vacancies in its Birmingham operation, where the bank is building a new headquarters to oversee 17m retail and corporate customers.

HSBC had already announced in November that Dame Clara Furse, the former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, will chair the business.

Nigel Hinshelwood was appointed in 2015 as the bank’s UK head with responsibility for leading the transition to the ringfenced operation. He has now decided to leave the bank.

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