HSBC reports 1% rise in pre-tax profits


HSBC has reported pre-tax profits of 18.9 billion dollars (£13.2 billion) for 2015, up 1% on the previous year.

Europe's largest bank, which this month revealed it will keep its headquarters in London, reported pre-tax profits of 18.7 billion dollars (£13.1 billion) in 2014.

Its adjusted profits were down 7% at 20.4 billion dollars (£14.3 billion) compared to 22 billion dollars (£15.4 billion) in 2014.

The bank said its adjusted revenue had risen by 1% from 57.2 billion dollars (£40 billion) to 57.7 billion dollars (£40.4 billion).

HSBC highlighted progress on reducing the group's RWAs [risk-weighted assets], new business in Brazil and gaining momentum in Asia, but the bank said it was operating in "a difficult market environment".

There have been a string of developments at the bank this year, including hints by chief executive Stuart Gulliver that he may step down in two years' time.

After a lengthy review HSBC announced it will keep its headquarters in the UK, although the good news was tempered soon after by a warning that the bank would move about 1,000 jobs from London to Paris in the event of Britain leaving the EU.

Commenting on the latest results, Mr Gulliver said: "Targeted investment, prudent lending and our diversified, universal banking business model helped us achieve revenue growth in a difficult market environment, whilst also reducing risk-weighted assets.

"Strict cost management slowed cost growth and our cautious approach to credit helped keep loan impairment charges low.

"We made a good start in implementing the plans that we announced at our Investor Update in June. Delivering against these plans remains our primary focus."