May 3, 2023

HSBC pre-tax profits jump to $12.9bn in first quarter

HSBC hires SVB bankers for tech, healthcare

Global banking giant HSBC announced Tuesday a $9-billion jump in pre-tax profits in the first quarter of 2023, projecting strong earnings for the rest of the year.

The London-headquartered bank reported pre-tax profits of $12.9 billion for the opening quarter, up from $3.4 billion in the same period last year.

Revenue leapt 64 percent to $20.2 billion.

“Our strong first quarter performance provides further evidence that our strategy is working,” chief executive Noel Quinn said in a statement.

“Our profits were spread across our major geographies, and all three global businesses performed well as we continued to meet our customers’ needs through our internationally connected franchises.”

Quinn added that HSBC has also announced its “first quarterly dividend since 2019 of $0.10 per share” and a share buy-back of up to $2 billion.

Pressure has been mounting on HSBC since its largest shareholder, Chinese insurer Ping An, called for the bank to break up its business as part of a “strategic restructuring” to unlock shareholder value.

The company has urged its shareholders to vote down the proposal at its annual general meeting in Birmingham scheduled for May 5.

HSBC bought the UK arm of failed US lender Silicon Valley Bank for a nominal $1.2 in a rescue deal in March.

Quinn said the acquisition fits in with the bank’s overall growth plans.

“We remain focused on continuing to improve our performance and maintaining tight cost discipline, but we also saw an opportunity to invest in SVB UK to accelerate our growth plans,” he said.

“We believe they’re a natural fit for HSBC, and that we’re uniquely placed to take them global.”