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HSBC reports rise in net profit

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by Kay Mitchell
’HSBC

Banking giant HSBC has today said net profits grew 58% to $4.153 billion in the three months to 31 March on lower taxes and bad debt
charges.

However, the bank, which is Europe’s largest, said the group’s pre-tax gains were driven down by rises in other exceptional costs – such as the £269 million it has set aside in compensation for customers who were mis-sold the controversial payment protection insurance (PPI).

The results come just days before the bank is set to unveil a massive cost-cutting programme.

Chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, said today: “We have increased our emphasis on cost management across the group, launching a number of cost reduction programs during the period.” More details about the cost-cutting exercise will be revealed on Wednesday, the bank said.

However, the cost-cutting programme could see the bank depart from some countries, while cutting its branch network in others.

There has been speculation for some months that the the bank is planning to relocate its UK headquarters to Hong Kong.

However, the bank has previously refuted the claims saying the report is “speculative and presumptuous”.

The bank has a significant presence in Asia, which has led many to believe the bank would one day move its headquarters to Hong Kong.

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News posted: May 9, 2011

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