HSBC posts better third quarter results

Third quarter results for HSBC were better than the previous two but profits remain lower than last year • Customer deposits increased in pandemic year

HSBC's performance was better in the third quarter but the bank continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic like the rest of the economy
HSBC's performance was better in the third quarter but the bank continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic like the rest of the economy

HSBC Bank has reported better results in the third quarter when compared to the previous two but profit before tax until September was lower than last year.

The bank continues to be impacted by COVID-19, an interim directors’ statement released on the Malta Stock Exchange on Tuesday said.

The bank said revenue was negatively impacted by the pandemic, resulting in losses incurred by the HSBC Life Assurance subsidiary as a result of adverse market movements. 

“Expected credit losses were significantly higher than those reported in the same period last year as we assessed the likely impact of COVID-19 on our customers, reflecting the worsening forward economic outlook due to the pandemic,” the bank statement said.

In line with the interim results, operating expenses were lower than the same period in 2019.

But compared to December 2019, loans and advances to customers increased, driven by growth in mortgages, with commercial banking balances remaining stable.

“Customer deposits have increased since December 2019. The bank’s liquidity position remained exceptionally strong and regulatory capital ratios continued to exceed regulatory capital requirements,” the bank said.

Simon Vaughan Johnson, HSBC CEO said: “The year-to-date results were dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a negative impact on the local economy, affecting our business and that of our customers. Considering the backdrop of this pandemic, the underlying results are satisfactory. I am pleased with the continued progress on cost reduction, which reflects our efforts to apply robust cost management discipline.”

He said the bank would continue making changes to the branch network in line with the bank’s vision for safe growth.

HSBC recently announced that it will not re-open the Mellieħa, San Ġwann, Żabbar and Żebbuġ branches after they were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It added that it was only re-opening the Gżira and Rabat branches as tellerless.

The bank had closed several branches last year as it shifted more of its services online.

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