HSBC see profits soar over first quarter of 2023

Pre-tax profits at HSBC soared by more than $4 billion (£3.2 billion) in the first three months of 2023

HSBC's pre-tax profits soared by more than $4 billion (£3.2 billion) in the first three months of 2023, according to a trading update from the banking group published on Tuesday.

Revenue soared by 64 per cent to $20.2 billion (£16.2 billion) compared to the same period 12 months ago, the company crediting the rise to higher net interest income due to rate rises across the globe.

The rise has seen the banking group announce its first dividend of 10 cents per share since before the pandemic in 2019, as well as a share buy-back of up to $2 billion (£1.6 billion).

Ironically, the results come on the day the bank shuts its branch on Coleraine’s Railway Road.

The branch at Meadow Lane in Portadown will close on June 6, leaving the bank with just one office in the north, in Belfast city centre.

Group chief executive Noel Quinn said: "Our strong first quarter performance provides further evidence that our strategy is working.

"Our profits were spread across out major geographies and all three global business performed well as we continued to meet our customers' needs through our internationally connected franchises.

"With the good momentum we have in our business, we expect to have substantial future distribution capacity for dividends and share buy-backs."

Pre-tax profits rose from $8.7 billion (£7 billion) to $12.9 billion (£10.3 billion) from a year ago as operating expenses fell by 7 per cent to $7.6 billion (£6.1 billion), primarily due to lower restructuring and related costs following the group's cost-saving programme at the end of 2022.

The results included a provisional gain of $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) on the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank in March.

"We remain focused on continuing to improve our performance and maintaining tight cost discipline, but we also saw an opportunity to invest in SVB UK to accelerate our growth plans," said Mr Quinn.

The update said the group expects net interest income of at least $34 billion (£27.2 billion) in 2023.

The statement said: "While the interest rate outlook remains positive, we expect continued pressure from increased migration to term deposits as interest rates rise."