HSBC reported a sharp decline in profit in the first three months of 2016, as market volatility and weak trading conditions dented its performance. However, the decline was smaller than expected and was partly offset by a surge in revenue in the commercial banking division, the lender said on Tuesday (3 May).
In the quarter to 31 March, the bank posted a 14% year-on-year decline to $6.1bn (£4.1bn, €5.3bn) in statutory pre-tax profit, compared with analysts’ expectations for a $4.3bn figure. Excluding currency fluctuations and other one-off items, profit declined 18% from the corresponding period in 2015 to $5.4bn.
The FTSE 100-listed bank, however, described the profit figures as “a resilient performance despite challenging market conditions”. On the revenue front, Britain’s biggest bank saw underlying revenue decline 4% year-on-year to $13.9bn, as income generated by the market division fell 12%. However, the group’s commercial banking arm posted a 2% increase in the period, boosted by growing demand for loans in the UK market.