Leeds-based infrastructure bank to be led by Yorkshire-born former HSBC boss John Flint

Former HSBC boss John Flint has been appointed as the inaugural permanent head of the Government’s new infrastructure bank, which is based in Leeds.

Library image of former Chancellor Philip Hammond (right) arriving at HSBC UK headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London with John Flint. Former HSBC boss John Flint has been appointed as the inaugural permanent head of the Government’s new infrastructure bank. Picture: PA

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said Mr Flint’s appointment marks an “important milestone” for the bank, which opened in June with the aim of supporting investment in renewable energy, transport, digital infrastructure, water and waste utilities.

It will also boost local and regional economic growth as part of the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

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Mr Flint is set to start as chief executive of the bank on September 27 and will be based at its headquarters in Leeds.

He replaces interim chief executive John Mahon.

Mr Sunak said: “This is an important milestone for the bank in its efforts to tackle climate change and level up, while creating new opportunities across the UK as part of our Plan for Jobs.

“Mr Flint brings outstanding financial and management expertise which will be crucial to leading the organisation as it grows its operations and starts to deliver on its mission to finance projects in every region of the UK.”

It follows Mr Flint’s departure from HSBC in 2019 after less than 18 months as chief executive amid a reported rift with new chairman Mark Tucker.

Mr Flint, who was born in Yorkshire, said: “This is a unique leadership opportunity.

“The UK infrastructure bank’s purpose is clear, and the opportunity to play a role in accelerating the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy, and catalysing regional economic growth is exciting.”

The infrastructure bank aims to unlock more than £40 billion of investment in the UK.

It will be able to buy £5 billion of equity in UK infrastructure projects, and lend £7 billion and guarantee loans of £10 billion as well.

It will initially start with loans, equity and guarantees to private businesses before starting to lend to local authorities later this summer.

The Treasury said Mr Flint was appointed following a “fair and open competition”.

He previously spent 30 years at HSBC, having joined as a graduate trainee in 1989.