HSBC profits almost double to $8.4bn but more jobs may be lost

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver hints more job cuts could be on the way

Banking giant HSBC reported soaring profits today before hinting that more job cuts could be on the way - two weeks after it announced it was shedding thousands of posts.

Pre-tax profits almost doubled to $8.4 billion (£5.4 billion); and after taking out one-offs, underlying profits rose 34% to $7.59 billion.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the industry was moving into “calmer waters” in the wake of the credit crunch and the PPI mis-selling scandal as charges for bad loans and compensation fell.

But Mr Gulliver, who was paid £7.4 million last year, said he could not give any assurances over potential future job losses.

Worldwide, the bank has lost 40,000 of its 300,000 employees as a result of restructuring and sell-offs since Mr Gulliver took over at the start of 2011.

The cuts are 10,000 more than the number predicted at the time. Mr Gulliver said HSBC was responding to “economic and regulatory” circumstances.

The bank, which is due to give a key strategy update next week, expects total staff numbers to fall eventually to 254,000.

A fortnight ago, HSBC announced a shake-up affecting more than 3,000 UK jobs, though around 2,000 further posts being created were expected to be mostly filled by displaced employees.

But today Mr Gulliver said: “I can't give any assurance that there won't be further job cuts.”

The bank said its improved profits for the first quarter of the year reflected higher revenues and lower loan impairment charges, with a notable improvement in its US consumer and mortgage lending business.

Its UK customer redress programme, which includes compensation for PPI as well as card and identity protection insurance policies, was $164 million (£106 million) in the first quarter, compared to $286 billion (£184 million) in the last three months of 2012.

The figure shows that the pot of money set aside to reimburse customers is still swelling but at a reduced rate.

With loan impairment charges - losses from bad debts - also falling, it suggests HSBC is beginning to overcome the difficulties of the credit crunch and the mis-selling claims that have dogged the industry over the last few years.

Mr Gulliver said: “As an industry, we are moving into calmer waters but I don't think it is time to reduce the vigilance that we need to demonstrate.”

A poor outlook in the eurozone and subdued growth in the UK continued to pose concerns, he said.

Globally, revenue rises were “muted” though there were increases in areas such as residential mortgages and commercial banking in Hong Kong and the UK, and efficiency savings.

Mr Gulliver said: “We have had a good start to the year, with growth in reported and underlying profit before tax.”

Analysts at Credit Suisse said the results were “better than expected”, with shares up more than 3 per cent.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy