First quarter profits rise at HSBC

HSBC has posted better-than-expected first quarter profits as the banking giant was boosted by the performance of its retail banking and wealth management units.

The lender saw net profit rise 33.7% to 4.13 billion US dollars (£3.1 billion) in the first three months of the year, ahead of analyst expectations of 3.7 billion US dollars (£2.8 billion).

Revenue for the period jumped from 13.7 billion US dollars (£10.5 billion) to 14.4 billion US dollars (£11 billion), while adjusted operating expenses grew 3% to 8.1 billion US dollars (£6.2 billion).

Net interest income for the period edged up 0.1% to 7.47 billion US dollars (£5.7 billion).

HSBC said its retail banking and wealth management arms generated a “significant increase” in revenue on the back of higher lending and deposit balances, particularly in the UK and Hong Kong.

Commercial banking delivered a double-digit increase in revenue, while global banking and markets adjusted revenue was also up.

Nevertheless, HSBC chief executive John Flint said costs will remain in focus.

“These are an encouraging set of results, and we remain focused on executing the strategy we outlined last June. At the same time, we remain alert to risks in the global economy.

“We are proactively managing costs and investment in line with this more uncertain outlook, and will continue to do so.”

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