PwC is to replace KPMG as auditor to HSBC from 2015 in the first change by a major UK bank since calls from regulators for more regular audit rotation.
KPMG has been HSBC's auditor since 1991 and was originally appointed without going through a bidding process, according to the bank's annual report.
HSBC said the latest appointment, which requires shareholder approval at its AGM next May, was the result of a competitive tender process.
John Coombe, chair of the bank's audit committee, said: 'We look forward to a constructive and professional relationship with PwC.'
HSBC is Europe's largest bank by market capitalisation and paid KPMG £53m in fees last year. PwC is already the auditor to Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group.