Profits of UK’s Biggest Bank HSBC Plunge 65 Percent in COVID-19 Fallout


The bank previously announced it would cut at least 35,000 of its 235,000 staff as part of a major restructuring, but the plan was put on hold amid the pandemic. At least 1,000 of those redundancies were planned for the UK.

The British bank HSBC published its pre-tax profits on Monday, showing just $4.3 billion in revenue, compared to $12.4 billion for the same period last year.

According to HSBC group chief executive Noel Quinn, the multinational bank will “accelerate the implementation” of a planned restructuring, which includes merging its retail banking and wealth management units, cutting European equity business, and reducing its US branch.

The bank, which sees a major share of its profits come from Hong Kong, was hit by both the coronavirus outbreak and the unrest in the autonomous region over Beijing’s national security law in Hong Kong.

A general view of central downtown, including from top left, Bank of China, The Cheung Kong Center, HSBC’s headquarters and the Standard Chartered Bank as well as the Legislation Council, bottom, in Hong Kong

After the bank supported the legislation, it was criticised by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who claimed that Beijing’s “browbeating” of HSBC “should serve as a cautionary tale”.

While the pandemic has taken a toll on countries across the globe, both China and the UK are now showing low numbers of new cases, with around 84,000 infected in China, and around 304,000 cases in Great Britain.


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