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HSBC Q1 profits double as credit losses reversed

April 28, 2021

HONG KONG: HSBC said on Tuesday that first-quarter profits more than doubled, helped by a reversal in credit losses as well as its ongoing restructuring and pivot to Asia.
Adjusted profit before tax rose 109 per cent to $6.4 billion although reported revenue slipped five per cent on year to $13.0 billion in part because of low-interest rates.
The results, which beat estimates, are a shot in the arm for the Asia-reliant lender after a tumultuous year that saw its fortunes take a hammering from the coronavirus and simmering geopolitical tensions.
“I am pleased with our revenue and cost performance, but particularly with our significantly lower expected credit losses,” CEO Noel Quinn said. Quinn struck a cautiously optimistic note for the near future with hopes high that mass vaccinations may start to ease pressure on the global economy, even as infections continue to soar.
“The economic outlook has improved, although uncertainties remain,” he said.
Bright spots included a $400 million reversal in credit losses as well as its Europe and the US regions returning to profit. In the UK, pre-tax profits were more than $1.0 billion for the quarter.