HSBC profits and revenues fall in the first quarter

HSBC's profit fell in the first quarter of the year as lower retail banking fees and difficult global markets trading hit the bank's bottom line.

Pre-tax profit, excluding one-off items, fell 13% to $6.62bn (£3.9bn) in the three months to the end of March. Revenue fell 8% to $15.7bn. The group warned that customer activity stayed "muted" in April.

Headline pre-tax profit was down 20% to $6.8bn but was slightly better than analysts' consensus forecasts of $6.6bn.

HSBC said its results were pulled down by $1.1bn of significant items such as gains on selling its Ping An insurance business and revaluing of derivative contracts last year. But the $300m reduction in retail and wealth management revenues was partly caused by lower fees for overdrafts and investments in Europe, where the UK is HSBC's main business. Global banking and markets revenue fell $200m because of tough trading conditions also reported by Barclays on Monday.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said: "Whilst revenue was lower than the previous year's first quarter, which benefited from a number of specific items, we have seen progress in revenue over the trailing quarters.

"Global banking and markets had a relatively good performance and we grew our market share in several product categories. Commercial Banking saw revenue growth but, in our Principal Retail Banking and Wealth Management business, revenues were impacted by changes in incentive plans and product pricing."

HSBC shares fell 0.8% to 599p.

Powered by article was written by Sean Farrell, for on Wednesday 7th May 2014 10.44 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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