Banking behemoth HSBC sees a nearly doubling of quarterly profit

an HSBC bank location in the heart of London

The world's largest banking organization, HSBC, reports that rising interest rates have helped its quarterly profit nearly double.

For the final three months of 2022, the London-based company reported profit before tax of $5.2bn (£4.3bn), an increase of more than 90% from the same period in 2021.

However, after deducting the cost of selling its French retail banking operations, pre-tax profit for the entire year decreased by $1.4bn to $17.5bn.

Additionally, HSBC is in the process of selling its operations in Canada.

The bank stated that once the transaction was completed, it intended to pay out dividends to shareholders using the proceeds from that sale.

Noel Quinn, the CEO of HSBC, stated that "2022 was another good year for HSBC.". He continued, "We are on track to deliver higher returns in 2023.".

The company finally succeeded in selling its French retail bank in June 2021 after a protracted battle to do so as it turned its attention to Asia.

As a result of that disposal, HSBC now anticipates suffering a $2 point 4 billion hit to its profits.

The Royal Bank of Canada and HSBC announced their agreement to sell each other's Canadian banking operations in November.

The transaction, valued at $13.5 billion Canadian ($10 billion; £8.3 billion), is anticipated to close this year.

Due to pressure from its largest shareholder, the Chinese insurance behemoth Ping An, HSBC has been selling businesses.

Ping An has been publicly urging HSBC to separate its business in Asia to boost profits ever since last year.

In recent years, HSBC has also been laying off employees to help with cost-cutting.

Since the pandemic, HSBC announced in November that it would be closing 114 more branches in the UK due to a significant decline in customer traffic.

The bank promised to look for alternative employment for the affected staff members but forewarned that about 100 people would lose their jobs.

This came after declarations that additional branches would close in 2021 and 2022.

Additionally, Mr. Quinn hinted on Tuesday that there would be no cost-cutting whatsoever. "There will be no easing off at all," he said.

We are currently taking into account additional severance costs of up to $300 million for 2023, he continued.

In an effort to slow the rate of price increases, central banks all over the world have recently increased interest rates.

The Bank of England raised UK interest rates in December to their highest level in 14 years.

The cost of borrowing has also significantly increased due to actions by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

MPs in the UK questioned this month whether the biggest banks in the nation were passing on higher interest rates to savers.

The debate was incorrectly focused on the interest rates offered on easy-access savings accounts, which typically have a return of less than 1%, according to the UK chief executives of HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, and Barclays.

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