Because two of its most important markets, the UK and Hong Kong, are currently undergoing major events.
One of the world's largest banks by assets, HSBC Holdings PLC, changed its approach from being poised for growth at the beginning of 2019 with focus on making its 238,000 become the "best version of themselves" to ending 2019 with a new boss who has no choice but to cut thousands of jobs, cull clients and put businesses on the block.
Realizing that there is still too much bank in many countries, the investment bank's board decided in August to replace its chief executive, John Flint, who for 30 years improved the financial performance of the bank but didn't please the current chairman who wants a quick fix.
Noel Quinn, the head of HSBC's commercial banking, was asked by Chairman Mark Tucker to be the interim CEO.
Mr. Quinn told his colleagues he will do his best to keep the job.
An executive who served with the stand-in CEO on HSBC's senior management team said that Mr. Quinn's decision making is "more instinctive."
Analysts are predicting an announcement by December.
Mr. Quinn's plan is to close low-growth businesses and cut costs to better compete with rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.
He is also speeding up selling HSBC's French retail bank while concentrating on job reductions.
In August, the bank's finance chief said that lenders should reprice or exit low-profit customers in Europe.
More scaling back in investment banking activities and more retail disposals are to be expected.
Mike Fox, a fund manager at Royal London Asset Management holding shares in the bank commented that the marketing line 'the world's local bank' though great wasn't a good corporate strategy.
Sources said that they had known for years that they need to do something about their cost base, which is people.
Sources added that they are wondering why they have many people in Europe when the double-digit returns are coming from Asia.
Still, HSBC will still also decide on the allocation of capital on the remaining 65 countries where it is located.
Mr. Quinn assured investors that the bank's heart and soul are still in Asia.
The bank worked on several Chinese bond deals just last month, including some for state-owned banks.
HSBC makes a third of its revenues in Hong Kong where the bank was born in 1865.