Facebook’s Libra Networks Taps Former HSBC Exec James Emmett

Mr. Emmett spent his entire career at HSBC overseeing the lender’s operations across Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Canada

The Libra Association, the governing body that will oversee Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, has appointed, former HSBC Europe CEO, James Emmett as managing director of Libra Networks.

Emmett is expected to gradually assume the responsibilities of his executive role after the now 23-member organization has recently reviewed a charter that dictates the structure of the management and is set to appoint a board of directors.

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Mr. Emmett spent his entire career at HSBC overseeing the lender’s operations across Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Canada. His departure came after the UK’s biggest bank announced senior changes that included replacing its top investment bankers.

Noel Quinn, HSBC’s newly-appointed chief executive, outlined plans in February to cut 35,000 jobs across the group and restructure part of its global markets business.

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Emmett brings over 25 years of global experience in business, strategy, technology, and operations, gained through his various roles in the banking sector.

Commenting on his appointment, James Emmett said: “As someone who is passionate about the opportunities for financial services and technology to make a real difference, I am delighted to be joining Libra Networks with a mission to enhance financial innovation and inclusion and to deliver the operationalization of the network.”

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Facebook launched Libra Networks in Switzerland back in 2019, which seemingly aims to support its cryptocurrency payments plan that it is developing. So far, little is known publicly about the project, but according to the Swiss commercial register, the social network is a stakeholder in the new Geneva-based company, which was set up to develop financial and technology services and provide related infrastructure and software.

Emmett joins the Libra Association amidst international debate over Facebook’s much-anticipated cryptocurrency. Central bankers around the world have also issued warnings to the social giant over its digital currency ambitions.

The group has been plagued by high-profile departures, including PayPal, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and others that have pulled out of the coalition of companies involved in a Facebook-led initiative. Other key partners that signed on earlier to pursue a global cryptocurrency project were reportedly reconsidering their involvement.

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