HSBC reports 80% decline in pre-tax profits for Q4 2023

HSBC reported an 80% decline in pre-tax profits for Q4 2023, largely due to a $3bn charge on its stake in a Chinese bank and real estate write-downs. Full-year profits rose 78% to $30bn but missed expectations. The impairment on its Chinese investment reflects broader economic challenges.

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Weak consumer confidence prompts China to stimulate its economy amid a property crisis. The bank provisioned $3.4bn for expected credit losses, with $1bn linked to mainland China’s commercial property.

HSBC CEO Noel Quinn

CEO Noel Quinn’s pay doubled to £10.6mn, reflecting efforts to reshape the bank. It announced a $2bn share buyback and a 31 cents per share dividend for Q4.

The size of the payment reflected Quinn’s “leadership in reshaping the [bank] to deliver more sustainable returns to shareholders”, the bank says. It also notes that it took Quinn’s pay to 169 times that of the average UK HSBC employee, up from 95 times last year. The bank’s total bonus pool rose 12 per cent to $3.8bn.

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