HONG KONG (AFP) – Banking giant HSBC yesterday announced a dip in 2022 pre-tax profits last year, calling the ongoing impact of COVID-19 the main factor in its financial performance.
The Asia-focussed lender said it made USD17.5 billion before tax, down more than seven per cent on-year, while reported revenue increased four per cent to USD51.7 billion.
In a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, HSBC detailed the tough global economic climate international banks are facing.
It cited renewed virus outbreaks in Hong Kong and mainland China as denting last year’s economic growth.
It added that global uncertainty sparked by the invasion of Ukraine, elevated inflation and rising interest rates contributed to a difficult financial environment that it expects will spill into 2023’s earnings and even eclipse the toll of the pandemic.
“We are already seeing… a cost of living crisis affecting many of our customers and colleagues,” the group’s chairman Mark Tucker said in a statement.
However, after-tax profits rose USD2 billion to USD16.7 billion, while fourth-quarter pre-tax profit nearly doubled from USD2.5 billion to USD5.2 billion.
“All of our businesses grew profits in 2022, and we maintained our strong capital, funding and liquidity positions,” Tucker added.
The bank said last year reflected “a strong overall financial performance”, and announced a full-year dividend of USD0.32 per share.
At an event last month, Tucker said China’s re-opening and latest measures to stabilise its turbulent property market “will be positive for both its economy and the global economy”.
The lender has vowed to accelerate a multi-year pivot to Asia and the Middle East, and its ambitions to lead Asia’s wealth management market has shown early signs of success.
In November, the bank agreed to sell its Canadian division for USD10.1 billion, saying it would use the funds to invest in its core business and return cash to investors.