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HSBC maintains progress as chairman retires

Sir John Bond has reassured investors of HSBC's continued positive performance as he presided over his final AGM.

In his final address to shareholders of HSBC Holdings, after 45 years of service, Sir John Bond said that over the last three years the group has delivered impressive returns for investors.

Speaking at the group’s AGM in London, Mr Bond said the group has continued to invest in the future of the business, focusing on two key areas: the development of its personal financial services business in Asia, along with the development of its corporate, investment banking and markets business.

As he retires after eight years as chairman, 45 years after starting as an apprentice, Mr Bond maintains that the group remains well diversified both geographically and by customer group.

We remain firmly committed to our five-year strategic plan for CIBM. We are on track and gaining momentum in the areas of investment.

Our results for 2005 reflect our success in increasing revenues and improving productivity, in line with our ‘managing for growth’ strategic plan, the chairman said.

Cost growth peaked during 2005 and there is clear evidence of positive client response to our expanded product capabilities. We have won a number of important new mandates and improved our position in various league tables, particularly for international bond issuance, he added.

Stephen Green will take over Sir John Bond’s role as chairman and Michael Geoghegan will succeed Mr Green as group chief executive.

HSBC delivered record profits of GBP11.7 billion for 2005. The figure, which represented growth of 8% over 2004, is an all-time record for a UK registered bank.