Milne replaces Stuart A Davis who is moving to a new position within the bank after a three-year stint in this role. The bank will announce Davis’ new role soon. Prior to this appointment, Milne was the country manager of Japan since 2007. In that role he served as the president and chief executive officer of HSBC, chairman of HSBC Securities (Japan) and chairman of HSBC Global Asset Management (Japan) KK.
A British graduate with honours in modern Arabic studies from the University of Durham, England, Milne joined HSBC in 1981 in the UK. He has worked across businesses in European, West Asian, American and Asian markets. In 2001, he was appointed head of institutional banking for the Asia-Pacific region. He also led the lender's corporate banking team in this region.
“His (Milne’s) appointment to the executive committee in Asia reinforces the high profile of our India business in HSBC," Peter Wong, chief executive of HSBC in Asia-Pacific, said.
“I am pleased that in the three years that Stuart Davis has been in India, HSBC has secured its position among the biggest and most profitable foreign banks in the country. HSBC has emerged as a competitive player in the market, taking Indian businesses overseas and helping to attract overseas business to India.”
Naina Lal Kidwai, a director at HSBC in Asia-Pacific, is currently the country head of the bank in India.
In 2011, HSBC's pre-tax profit from India business expanded 19.7 per cent to $813 million from $679 million a year ago. The growth in profitability was aided by decrease in losses of retail and wealth management operations and higher earnings of commercial banking business.
India was the sixth most profitable market for the bank after Hong Kong, China, the UK, Brazil and Canada.
Milne is taking this new role at a time when HSBC is looking to acquire the retail and commercial banking businesses of Royal Bank of Scotland in India. The deal is yet to be cleared by the Reserve Bank of India.
In February, 2012 Standard Chartered Bank replaced its India and South Asia chief executive Neeraj Swaroop with Sunil Kaushal.
Deutsche Bank has also announced that its India chief executive Gunit Chadha will relocate to Singapore later this year as co-chief executive of the bank's Asia-Pacific operations. The bank is yet to name its new chief executive for India business.