5 Minutes with HSBC UK, CEO, Ian Stuart

Ian Stuart, CEO, HSBC UK

Ian has over 35 years’ experience in the banking industry across a number of financial institutions and holding a number of senior leadership roles, most recently HSBC. In his current role, Ian leads HSBC in the UK with over 38,000 people, covering Corporate and Business Banking, Retail Banking & Private Bank including all associated product lines. Ian is also a member of the Europe Executive Committee.

Ian is also a Business Ambassador for Meningitis Now and supports Speakers 4 Schools. He is a Board member of UK Finance. We caught up with Ian to find out how he got to where he is today.

How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?

When I left school at 16, working in a local branch was one of the best career options available because it gave me the chance to meet lots of different customers; both individuals and businesses who were achieving inspirational things and those that were facing more challenging times. The opportunities to learn and develop a whole range of career routes seemed endless, and I believe that holds true in banking today. It was 1979, which was a time of high unemployment, so getting a ‘good job’ in an industry where I could use my numeric skills was also something of a relief.


Who is a person that you considered as a role model early in your life? How and why does this person impact your life?

I was fortunate in my early career to work for excellent leaders. One of my early bosses was hugely charismatic (we remain good friends today) who also took time to coach me on technical aspects of my role, i.e. tax. He remains an inspiration to me today.


What is most important to you and your organisation – mission, vision or core values? Why?

There are 3 critical components in any business; Customers, People (who work for you) and Products;

You need to nurture all 3 and that means continuous development and investment.

Your core values are always important; “this is how we do things around here” becomes the DNA of the business. I also like mission and vision but unless you have the 3 critical components, nothing will happen!

Finally, every person and every business needs a purpose. That is an important life message.


What advice would you give a new employee going into a leadership position for the first time?

Don’t be in too much of a hurry; understand what you have got and what it is you are expected to deliver. Work it out, have a plan.

Get the very best people you can, working ‘with’ you.

Trust yourself; do the analysis, take on board the views of others and make the call.


If you were to introduce me to one person, who would it be…?

It depends what you want to know. If you want someone’s help/advice, just ask them – people will not say no. Just keep the conversation short and to the point (most people are very busy) and you will be surprised how willing people are to help.

Take action

If you would like more information about our partnership with HSBC and access support to grow your businessclick here.

Did you enjoy this article? Here is what you can do! 

  1. Sign up to become a FREE Member here.
  2. Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
  3. Share it with your network – go on, spread the love.

Have you booked your ticket for the country’s biggest celebration of female-led businesses? Book your tickets to an award near you – We will be in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. Book your tickets HERE.

We are pleased to announce Ian will be speaking at our Grand Final in Leeds on 1st December 2017. Don’t miss him.