HSBC Holdings PLC Wednesday denied that Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan had threatened to resign from the U.K. bank unless he is given the role of chairman.

Earlier Wednesday, Financial Times reported that Geoghegan made the threat after hearing that the board wasn't ready to give him the chairmanship, citing two people familiar with the situation.

"It is nonsense that the group CEO threatened to resign unless he was appointed chairman," HSBC said in an e-mailed statement.

"The suggestion is offensive to Mike [Geoghegan] and to the company. As previously stated, the board is working under due process to finalize HSBC's succession plan following Stephen Green's already-announced departure, and this proceeds in line with the scheduled timetable," it added.

HSBC's board is meeting Tuesday in Shanghai to discuss Green's successor, among other things. The bank has previously said it would appoint a new chairman by the end of the year.

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