HSBC has flagged a gloomier outlook amid the China-US trade war and unrest in Hong Kong, reporting a 16 per cent rise in profit but warning it is “not on track” in its US turnaround and announcing the departure of John Flint, its chief executive of less than 18 months.

The banking giant also confirmed plans to cut 4,000 jobs globally, which is around 2% of its workforce.

HSBC said in its statement that Mr Flint had resigned from the role “by mutual agreement with the board”, against reports that his approach to cutting costs differed from the view of the bank’s chairman, Mark Tucker.

Mr Flint’s departure came as HSBC announced its first-half results for 2019, with the 16% rise pre-tax profit equating to $12.4 billion.

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Its profit after tax was up 18% to $9.9bn.

Noel Quinn, who is chief executive of global commercial banking, will take up the role in the interim chief executive.

Details of the package Mr Flint, who has been with the bank nearly 30 years, are not outlined at this stage.

However, he will be entitled to 12 months’ salary and a “fixed pay allowance” - of £3.3 million - and will be eligible to be considered for an annual incentive award. Last year he was paid £4.6m.

The bank added: “Mr Flint will not be eligible for an LTI (long-term incentive) award in respect of the 2019 performance year.”

During his time at HSBC, Mr Flint started a programme of cuts, but the bank has said it is set to axe more jobs. Ewen Stevenson, HSBC chief financial officer, said the group would face more than$650m in severance costs as a result of the restructuring.

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Mark Tucker, HSBC chairman, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank John for his personal commitment, dedication and the significant contribution that he has made over his long career at the bank.

“Today’s positive interim results particularly reflect John’s achievements as group chief executive.”

Mr Tucker said that although HSBC “is in a strong position to deliver on its strategy”, the world banking backdrop is “challenging”.

He said: “In the increasingly complex and challenging global environment in which the bank operates, the board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us.”

Mr Stevenson said: “We’re not on track with the turnaround of our US business ... The current returns on the US business is not acceptable.”

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He added: “The US revenues outlook has become more challenged in recent months and we’re not expecting a 6% return on targeted tangible equity.

“Trade tensions between the US and China are progressively affecting the growth output in both markets.”

The bank, which has 10 branches in Scotland and extensive investment administration operations with more than 4,000 staff in total, also said it intends to initiate a share buy-back of up to $1 billion, “which we expect to commence shortly”.

Mr Flint said it had been a privilege to spend his “entire career with HSBC” and that he was “proud of what we achieved together”, adding: “I have agreed with the board that today’s good interim results indicate that this is the right time for change, both for me and the bank.

“After almost 30 years with HSBC, I will be sad to leave but I do so looking forward to a new personal challenge, and confident that our people will continue to serve the bank’s stakeholders in the best possible way.”

External candidates will be considered in the search for a new chief executive, the company said. Mr Quinn has been chief executive of global commercial banking since 2015.

Nicholas Hyett, of Hargreaves Lansdown: said: “John Flint’s departure and a very cautious outlook statement are overshadowing what are a strong set of results in our opinion.” Russ Mould, of AJ Bell, said “overall, HSBC’s first-half numbers seem solid enough”. Shares were down 2.7% at 628.5p on the news on Monday.