HSBC has beaten analyst expectations to post a pre-tax profit of $5.8 billion (€4.8 billion) in the first quarter – up 79 per cent on the same period last year.
The London-headquartered HSBC surpassed a forecast of a profit of $3.34 billion from independent analysis the bank had compiled.
Revenue fell 5 per cent to $13 billion, with the bank adding this was due to the impact of 2020 interest rate reductions in global businesses.
Europe’s largest lender said all regions were profitable in the first quarter, with HSBC UK Bank plc reporting a pre-tax profit of 1 billion dollars.
Our results today reflect an improved economic outlook & show we’re on track with reducing costs, cutting under-performing assets & our strategy to focus on our strengths; energise for growth, digitise at scale & help our clients to transition to net zero. https://t.co/IJ68m8pZ3k pic.twitter.com/Fr0DUurJ7j
— HSBC (@HSBC) April 27, 2021
Noel Quinn, group chief executive, said: “We had a good start to the year in support of our customers, while achieving materially enhanced returns for our shareholders.
“Global Banking and Markets had a good quarter, and we saw solid business growth in strategic areas, including Asia Wealth and trade finance, and mortgages in Hong Kong and the UK.”
Expected credit losses were down to $400 million, compared with a $3 billion charge in the first quarter of 2020.
The bank said: “Our 1Q21 results were favourably impacted by net ECL releases, particularly in the UK, reflecting improved economic forecasts.
“There remains a high degree of uncertainty as countries emerge from the pandemic at different speeds and as government support measures unwind.”
For shareholders, HSBC said there would be no quarterly dividend as previously announced in the 2020 annual results, but an interim dividend would be considered ahead of the half-year results in August.