Flint will succeed Stuart Gulliver as executive director and group chief executive upon Gulliver’s retirement next year on 21 February.
"John has broad and deep banking experience across regions, businesses and functions,” said group chairman Mark Tucker, who led the search for Gulliver’s successor.
Tucker took over as chairman at the beginning of this month, succeeding Douglas Flint (no relation to John Flint).
“He has a great understanding and regard for HSBC's heritage, and the passion to build the bank for the next generation. Through the search process, John has developed with myself [sic] and the board a clear sense of the opportunities and priorities that lie ahead,” Tucker said in a statement.
“Over the coming months, before he formally takes over the group CEO role from Stuart, we will be working closely together to develop and agree the key actions required to ensure we build on and enhance HSBC's current momentum," he added.
Shares in HBSC edged up a penny to 740p on the news but remained down 1.1% on the day.