HSBC set to nominate AIA's Tucker as next chairman - sources

(Adds WSJ report of timing of HSBC CEO Gulliver's departure)

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc is

lining up Mark Tucker, currently chief executive of insurer AIA

Group Ltd , to be the next chairman of Europe's

biggest bank, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said

on Sunday.

Regulators in Hong Kong and London have signalled they will

approve the appointment, one of the sources said, paving the way

for Tucker to take up the role in the autumn.

Tucker, the former head of insurer Prudential, and

once a trainee professional soccer player in Britain, would

become HSBC's first ever externally-appointed chairman at a bank

renowned in the industry for recruiting from within.

The appointment would mark the end of an era at HSBC, ending

one of the longest-serving chairman and chief executive pairings

at a European bank and would likely trigger the search for a

replacement to CEO Stuart Gulliver.

Gulliver will leave the bank in 2018, the Wall Street

Journal reported on Sunday, citing a person familiar with the

matter.

The announcement about Gulliver's departure and Tucker's

joining is expected to come after AIA confirms Tucker's

departure in a statement expected early Monday in Hong Kong, the

Journal reported. (http://on.wsj.com/2mzqbhN)

A spokeswoman for HSBC said the lender would nominate a

chairman to replace Douglas Flint this year, as previously

announced.

"Our process remains on track and the timetable is

unchanged," she said in an email.

Tucker took the helm of Hong Kong-based insurer AIA,

formerly the Asian arm of U.S. insurer AIG, in 2010.

Having led AIA's stock market flotation in the same year,

Tucker has since overseen the insurer's expansion in Asia across

18 markets to become the world's second-largest life insurer

with a market capitalisation of over $78 billion.

His experience leading both a large Britain-based company

and a Hong Kong-listed insurer will stand him in good stead to

oversee HSBC, whose most profitable markets are in Britain and

the Asian financial hub.

Tucker is currently a non-executive director at U.S.

investment bank Goldman Sachs, a role he will have to

resign from when he takes the chairman's seat at HSBC.

Last month, HSBC said the bank was not a position where it

had a shortlist of candidates to replace Flint, but expected to

identify his successor this year.

Sky News first reported the potential appointment on

Saturday.

Flint, 61, became chairman of HSBC in 2010 after serving as

its finance director since 1995. He and Gulliver have spent the

last few years shrinking HSBC, exiting more than 80 businesses

and cutting over 43,000 jobs as the post-2008 crisis environment

proved harsh for global mega-banks.

Flint in recent years attempted to strike a conciliatory

tone with often hostile investors at the bank's annual general

meetings, where he often came under fire over perceived

excessive pay for top HSBC bankers.

He has also been at the forefront of the banking industry's

lobbying after Britain's vote to leave the European Union,

testifying before the upper house of parliament that banks need

a longer transition period than the two years currently set out

after article 50 is triggered to start exit talks.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; Additional reporting by Kanishka

Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)