(Adds details, background on Flint, HSBC)
LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - HSBC has appointed John Flint as its next chief executive the bank said on Thursday, sticking with a tradition of promoting company insiders to run the firm.
Flint, who currently runs HSBC's retail and wealth management business, will start in his new role on Feb 21 2018, taking over from current chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who is retiring after seven years in the job.
The appointment marks the first major decision taken by the bank's new chairman, former AIA Group chief Mark Tucker, who joined HSBC on Oct. 1 as its first ever externally-appointed chairman.
Flint, no relation to outgoing chairman Douglas Flint, is viewed by other executives inside HSBC as a safe pair of hands, having been at the bank since 1989. He has worked across most of its business lines and spent the first 14 years of his career with the bank in Asia, giving him the breadth of experience seen as vital to the CEO role.
"He has a great understanding and regard for HSBC's heritage, and the passion to build the bank for the next generation," Tucker said in a statement.
Flint's main task will be to grow revenues across HSBC's businesses, as Europe's biggest bank seeks to grow profits again following a period of restructuring after the 2008-9 financial crisis.
HSBC's previous management duo of Gulliver and former chairman Douglas Flint spent the years since their appointment in 2010 shrinking HSBC, after a period of empire-building in the run-up to the 2008 global financial crisis left the bank overextended.
HSBC in July announced its third share buyback in a year and rising profits, in a sign of its turnaround.
But the bank still faces a tough challenge to meet its long term goal of making a better than 10 percent return on equity.
In August last year HSBC abandoned a timetable for achieving that target, as increased regulatory requirements on capital, low interest rates and rising competition from low-cost competitors pressure lenders' profits worldwide. (Reporting by Rachel Armstrong; editing by Carolyn Cohn, Greg Mahlich)