HSBC boss: If I wasn’t gay, I probably wouldn’t be CEO

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The head of HSBC bank in the UK has claimed that he probably wouldn’t be in charge if he was straight.

António Simões, who has been the head of the bank since 2012, is one of the most senior openly gay businessmen in the country.

Speaking to Portuguese newspaper Expresso, the banking chief said that he partly owes his success to his sexuality.

He said: “Being gay is a plus for me. It made ​​me a more authentic person, with better empathy, better emotional intelligence.

“If I wasn’t gay, I probably would not be CEO of the bank.

“I recently said at a conference that it is much stranger — and statistically more improbable — that a 39-year-old Portuguese is CEO of HSBC UK than the fact that the CEO of the bank is gay.

“It’ss never going to happen again in the history of HSBC that a 39-year-old short, bald, Portuguese becomes CEO of the bank but I hope — in fact, I am sure — that we will have a lot more gay CEOs for generations to come.”

He added of the ‘laddish’ image of finance: “Maybe those problems were true in the 1980s… when I started working, the environment was not as inclusive as it is today.

“If we want to live in a true meritocracy, the only thing that should matter is what you can do and not what you are.”