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Saturday, Oct 31, 2020

HSBC’s profits plunged 51% last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic battered the bank

HSBC’s profits plunged 51% last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic battered the bank

HSBC posted first-quarter earnings on Tuesday that fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The British bank’s adjusted revenues slid 6%, and a surge in expected credit losses drove adjusted pre-tax profits down 51% to $3.0 billion. The bank also warned of further income declines if the coronavirus crisis persists.
HSBC’s profits plunged in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hammered the bulk of the British bank’s operations. Overall, its earnings fell short of the expectations of Wall Street analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Adjusted revenues slid 6% to below $14 billion as the global equities sell-off and lower interest rates weighed on the wealth management business. HSBC’s expected credit losses also surged to a nine-year high of $3 billion, fueling a 51% drop in adjusted pre-tax profits to $3.0 billion.

Here are the key numbers:

Revenue: $13.33 billion versus the $13.41 billion estimate

Earnings per share: $0.10 versus the $0.12 estimate

“The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our customers has been the main driver of the change in our financial performance since the turn of the year,” CEO Noel Quinn said in the earnings release.

HSBC also warned of further pain if the coronavirus crisis persists.

“Should the Covid-19 outbreak continue to cause disruption to economic activity globally through 2020, there could be further adverse impacts on our income due to lower lending and transaction volumes and lower wealth and insurance manufacturing revenue due to equity markets volatility,” the bank said.

HSBC revealed sharp income declines in three divisions. Adjusted pre-tax profits tumbled 84% in the retail banking and wealth management division, 69% in the commercial banking business, and 49% in the global banking and markets segment.

The bright spot was the corporate centre, where adjusted pre-tax profits more than tripled to $1.1 billion.

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Henry Ford
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