HSBC recovers from covid loss as profits more than double

HSBC has reported pre-tax profits of $18.9 billion for 2021, an increase of over $10 billion in comparison to the previous year.

Adjusted operating profit was up by 79 per cent to $21.9 billion.

The bank said the profit hike was largely driven by by a net release of expected credit losses and impairment charges, and a higher share of profit from the bank’s associates.

The results are good news for the bank, which was significantly impacted by the pandemic in 2020. At the time, its pre-tax profits plunged by more than a third to $8.8 billion.

The UK bank blamed the loss on higher expected credit losses, other credit impairment charges, and a lower revenue, which was partly offset by a fall in operating expenses.

While all the regions in which HSBC operates were profitable last year, the UK had particularly good results – with pre-tax profits jumping by $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion.

Asia operations contributed $12.2 billion to reported operating profit and all other regions reported a material recovery in profitability.

HSBC said it intends to roll-out a share buy-back of up to $1 billion which would take place after an existing $2 billion buy-back has finished.

“We made good progress against our strategy in 2021, which contributed to a strong financial performance that was supported by the global economic recovery,” said Noel Quinn, HSBC group chief executive. “All of our regions were profitable and we saw growth in the fourth quarter of 2021 in many of our business lines.”

Quinn added that while the bank is confident about its performance in 2022 it remains aware of the potential impact that further Covid-19-related uncertainty and continued inflation might have

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