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HSBC misses forecasts but bankers bonus pool rises

Shares in the Asian-focused bank fell despite the strong profit haul
  • @mariatad

Shares in HSBC fell more than 4 per cent in early trade after the Asia-focused group missed profit expectations.

Europe's biggest bank reported a 9 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to $22.6 billion (£13.6bn), up from $20.6 billion in 2012, but missed analyst forecasts of $24.7 billion as it warned of further volatility and "choppy markets".

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said: "We are a very complicated company to try and estimate our results. Only one analyst in the world — BNP’s in Hong Kong — got them bang on."

Gulliver is set to receive a total pay package worth just over £8 million for 2013, up from £7.5 million. The bank said it increased its bonus pool for top staff by 6 per cent to $3.9 billion (£2.3 bn). It added 239 employees took home £1 million or more last year.

The bank has axed more than 40,000 jobs over the past three years to 254,000 at the end of 2013 and has closed more than 60 non-core businesses in a bid to slash costs.

Gulliver rejected any suggestion that HSBC might float off its UK business and added that it was not looking at moving its headquarters away from London to Hong Kong.

He said underlying profits had risen at three of the bank’s four divisions; the only fall came in global private banking. Latin America was the only region to show a fall in profits.

HSBC shares fell  29.2p to 625p.