The banking group logged a broadly stronger set of figures for the first six months of this year than from a year ago. As with many other banks, it swung from making large provisions for credit losses a year ago to net releases this year.
The wealth and personal banking arm of Hong Kong/UK-listed HSBC, a division that includes private banking, notched up adjusted pre-tax profit of $3.864 billion in the six months to 30 June, more than double from $1.66 billion a year ago.
For the entire HSBC group, pre-tax profit stood at $11.95 billion, also doubling from $5.64 billion, it said in a statement.
In the quarter to 30 June, HSBC said it logged a reported profit after tax of $3.9 billion, up from $3.2 billion a year earlier.
“These are good results that reflect the return of growth in our main markets and marked progress in the execution of our strategy. We were profitable in every region in the first half of the year, supported by the release of expected credit loss provisions. Our lending pipeline began to translate into business growth in the second quarter and we further strengthened that pipeline during the half. This performance enables us to pay an interim dividend for the first six months of 2021,” Noel Quinn, group chief executive, said. “I’m pleased with the momentum generated around our growth and transformation plans, with good delivery against all four pillars of our strategy. In particular, we have taken firm steps to define the future of our US and continental Europe businesses, and further enhanced our global wealth capabilities.”
As with other banks, HSBC swung from setting aside money to deal with the pandemic-hit economic position a year ago to a net release this year. HSBC said it logged a $700 million net release in H1, 2021, versus a $6.9 billion charge a year earlier. Most of that net release in H1, 2021 was primarily due to an improvement in the economic outlook since 2020.
The bank said its common equity tier 1 ratio – a standard international measure of capital strength – stood at 15.6 per cent, down 0.3 percentage points from 31 December 2020, reflecting an increase in risk-weighted assets from lending growth and a decrease in CET1 capital, including the impact of foreseeable dividends.