HSBC pre-tax profit up 10 percent in first half of the year

HSBC posted a 10 percent increase in profit in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

In the first six months of 2015 the banking giant reported pre-tax profit of $13.6 billion (£8.7 billion), beating analysts’ expectations of $12.5 billion.

Adjusted revenue climbed up 4% to $30.8 billion, driven by growth in client-facing &Global Banking and Markets, principally in Equities and Foreign Exchange.

Earnings per share were $0.48 and dividends per ordinary share were $0.20 (in respect of the period), compared with $0.50 and $0.20 respectively for the equivalent period last year.

The company also announced that it sold its operations in Brazil to Banco Bradesco, one of the biggest banking and financial services companies in the country, for £3 billion.

Douglas Flint, HSBC Group Chairman, said:

“We have had an encouraging start to 2015 with the interim results once again demonstrating the resilience and balance inherent within HSBC’s geographically diversified universal banking model. Particularly encouraging was the revenue growth from areas we have been investing in to offset the understandable decline in revenues from our run-off portfolios and divestments.”

Universal banking refers to having retail, wholesale, and investment banking services under one roof.

Legal matters

The company said that it is still co-operating in continuing investigations “regarding whether certain HSBC companies and employees acted appropriately in relation to certain customers who had US tax reporting obligations”.

HSBC made a full apology in February for allowing its Swiss private bank to encourage tax evasion, accepting that the scandal had caused “horrible reputational damage”.

The bank’s chairman, Douglas Flint, said that breaking tax laws was “completely unacceptable”.

As a result the company set aside $1.14 billion (£.73 billion) in the first half of the year for settlements and provisions in connection with legal matters.

No update on decision to relocate

The bank did not provide an update on a decision to relocate from London to Hong Kong.

It has said that a decision by its board would be made by the end of the year.