Financial markets send profits down at HSBC

HSBC's profits fell sharply in the first quarter. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
HSBC's profits fell sharply in the first quarter. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
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Banking giant HSBC unveiled a slide in profits for the first three months of the year after it caught the backwash from “extreme volatility” in financial markets.

HSBC, which has two big call centres in Edinburgh and Hamilton, said underlying pre-tax profits fell 18 per cent to $5.43 billion (about £3.7bn) for the first quarter.

Statutory pre-tax profits, including exceptional one-off items, were down 14 per cent at $6.1bn.

READ MORE: RBS losses more than double to £968m in first quarter

The deteriorating performance comes as HSBC recently bowed to shareholder pressure and changed its boardroom pay policy, including cutting the amount of cash given to top executives in lieu of a pension from 50 per cent to 30 per cent of base salary.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said: “Market uncertainty led to extreme levels of volatility in January and February, which affected our ability to generate revenue in our markets and wealth management businesses.”