HSBC's pre-tax profit down 62%

HONG KONG/LONDON: HSBC Holdings yesterday reported a 62 per cent slump in annual pre-tax profit that fell way short of analysts' estimates as the British bank took hefty writedowns from its restructuring, sending its Hong Kong shares down 3.5 per cent.

Europe's biggest bank by assets posted a 2016 profit before tax of US$7.1 billion (S$10 billion) against US$18.87 billion the year before.

It also announced a new US$1 billion share buy-back.

The net profit was US$2.48 billion compared with US$13.52 billion recorded in 2015, with group chairman Douglas Flint saying geopolitical changes contributed to "volatile financial market conditions".

On the impact of Brexit, Mr Flint reaffirmed earlier reports that "current contingency planning suggests we may need to relocate some 1,000 roles from London to Paris progressively over the next two years, depending on how negotiations develop". - WIRE SERVICES