Apr 27, 2021

HSBC profit rises 79% on economic recovery from Covid

HSBC said its first quarter net profit climbed 79 per cent as reserves for bad loans shrunk and an improving economic outlook more than a year into the coronavirus pandemic partly offset the hit to revenues from low interest rates. Net profit before tax was $5.8bn in the three months to March 30, the bank said on Tuesday, far higher than the $3.3bn forecast by analysts. HSBC said on Tuesday it was continuing negotiations on the sale of its French retail banking division although no decision had yet been taken. First-quarter profit plunged by half last year after the bank increased reserves for bad loans fivefold as the pandemic forced unprecedented global lockdowns, raising fears about the stability of the financial system. While the outlook had brightened by the end of 2020, HSBC's full year pre-tax profit still dropped 45 per cent.

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