HSBC annual profits double


HSBC has today posted pre-tax profits of $19 billion (£11.8 billion) for the 2010 year, compared with $7.1 billion for the 2009 year.

While the banking giant saw profits double, the results disappointed investors as they were slightly below the $20 billion analysts had expected.

Shares in the bank were up 2% prior to the results but lost 3.1% at 689.2p following the announcement.

The bank is one of the few not to receive any taxpayer bailout money after surviving the financial crisis better than many of its rivals.

Meanwhile, the figures come shortly after Lloyds reported it had returned to profit – its first since the bank had to be rescued by the Government at the height of the financial crisis in autumn 2008.

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41% owned by the taxpayer, posted pre-tax profits of £2.2 billion, compared with a £6.3 billion loss in 2009.

Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is 84% owned by the taxpayer, reported a net attributable loss of £1.13 billion for the 2010 year.

While RBS’ loss was down from the £3.6 billion reported for 2009, it was higher than analysts had expected.

Barclays reported profits of £6.1 billion for the 2010 year.

Returning to HSBC, the bank said bad debts were reduced by 47% with loan impairments falling to £8.7 billion in the 2010 year.

The bank, which is Europe’s largest, has operations in leading financial centres including London, Hong Kong and New York.

However, the UK contributed just 13% to the banks profits. More than 60% of profits from Asia, 22% from the whole of Europe and 2% from operations in North America.

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