HSBC bank says Comey resigns from board to head FBI

Global banking giant HSBC said Wednesday that non-executive director James Comey has stepped down from the board after his confirmation as director of the FBI.

The US Senate had on Monday confirmed President Barack Obama's pick to head the FBI at a time of heightened scrutiny of US intelligence operations.

"James B Comey, Jr., an independent non-executive director of HSBC Holdings plc, has resigned from the board with effect from 4 September 2013, following his confirmation by the US Senate as the next Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," HSBC said in a brief statement.

Comey, a respected former deputy attorney general, was nominated to the post by President Obama in June.

Earlier this year, he was appointed to the HSBC board at the start of March and served on the bank's Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee.

"On behalf of the board, I warmly congratulate Jim on his appointment as director of the FBI," added HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint in Wednesday's statement.

"The appointment reflects his expertise and the esteem in which he is held. We are sad to lose Jim's wise counsel and are grateful to him for the contribution he has made to HSBC in his brief time as a non-executive Director and member of the Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee.

"We wish him the very best with his appointment to this important role."

Comey will follow Robert Mueller, who until Monday had been the only FBI director of the post-9/11 era.