HSBC profits plunge 86% after Brazilian sell-offs

HSBC saw pre-tax profits tumble 86 per cent in the third quarter as it booked a hefty hit from the disposal of its Brazilian business.

The disposal of its operations in Brazil hit profits at HSBC. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The banking giant said reported pre-tax profits dropped to $843 million (£680m) in the three months to the end of September, down from $6.1 billion for the period last year.

However, adjusted pre-tax profits beat expectations, rising 7 per cent to $5.6bn in the third quarter, up from $5.2bn in 2015.

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Group chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the performance underscored the strength of the bank’s global network.

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“Reported profits were down, but adjusted profits were higher than last year’s third quarter in all four global businesses and four out of five regions,” he said.

“Reported profits included the impact of the disposal of our operations in Brazil, changes in the fair value of our own debt, and the costs of implementing our cost-reduction programmes.”

Reported revenues also came under pressure in the third quarter, dropping to $9.5bn, down from $15.1bn in 2015.

The bank – which generates a large slice of its business in Asia – remained tight-lipped about who will replace group chairman Douglas Flint after announcing in March that the hunt had begun to find a successor ahead of his departure in 2017. At the top of the new chairman’s in tray will be the search for a chief executive to replace Gulliver.

HSBC confirmed last week that it was hiring former London Stock Exchange boss Dame Clara Furse as the chairman of HSBC UK, its ring-fenced bank based in Birmingham.