HSBC chief reports ‘reasonable’ half-year as profits slide 28%

HSBC reports considerable uncertainty and a difficult economic environment saw half-year profits plummet 28%.

HSBC’s half-year performance was described as ‘reasonable’ by its chief executive Stuart Gulliver, despite profits plummeting over 28% compared to the first half of 2015. 

Gulliver explained the British bank faced “considerable uncertainty” in a difficult economic environment in the first six months of this year.

Half-year profits before tax declined over 28% - totalling £9.7 billion – compared to over £13 billion in the same period last year.

HSBC’s Global Banking and Markets business saw a particularly difficult first six months this year, with profits sliding 16% to £4 billion.

Gulliver said the banking and markets business “weathered a large reduction in client activity in January and February, but staged a partial recovery in the second quarter.”

The business reported second quarter profits before tax were in fact up 10% compared to last year, reaching just under £1.9 billion.

The bank’s chief executive added “While the economic environment remains difficult, the action we have taken has already put us in a far better position for when normal conditions return.

“There is much still to do, but we are making progress in all of the areas within our control,” Gulliver said.