(Source: By James Salmon Daily Mail, London — A pounds sterling 1.61bn charge on its debts meant HSBC was forced to bank a fall in profits to pounds sterling 2.67bn for the first three months of the year.
Like Royal Bank of Scotland last week, the charge — dismissed as an accounting quirk — took the sheen off HSBC�s figures, wiping 12pc off its profits compared with the same period last year.
Stripping this out, underlying pre-tax profit grew by a quarter to pounds sterling 4.21bn. The bank attributed this to growth in its commercial and investment banking operations, as well as a boost to its retail banking and wealth management arms from faster growing regions such as Latin America and Hong Kong.
The boast will be galling to thousands of workers who face the axe. Last month HSBC, which focuses heavily on emerging markets, announced it was cutting over 2,200 jobs in the UK.
This is part of plans to axe 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 in a bid to make annual savings of pounds sterling 2.17bn.
It has already cut 14,000 jobs since this time last year as part of its strategy to improve return on equity — a key measure of value for shareholders — from 6.4pc to 12pc by the end of 2013.
This also helped HSBC make pounds sterling 741m in cost savings last year and pounds sterling 185m in the first three months of this year.
Britain�s biggest bank also became the latest to increase the money set aside to pay compensation to customers mis-sold payment protection insurance.
Its provision now stands at pounds sterling 745m, up pounds sterling 290m.
Chief executive Stuart Gulliver lashed out at claims management firms for bringing �spurious claims� against the bank.
�2012 the Daily Mail (London, )
Visit the Daily Mail (London, ) at www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Source: By James Salmon Daily Mail, London