Banking giant HSBC exceeded expectations to post a pre-tax profit of £ 4.18 billion in the first quarter – up 79 percent over the same period last year.
HSBC, headquartered in London, surpassed a projected profit of £ 2.41 billion from independent research compiled by the bank.
Revenue fell 5 percent to £ 9.37 billion, with the cuts being due to the impact of the 2020 rate cuts on global companies.
All regions were profitable in the first quarter. HSBC UK Bank plc posted a pre-tax profit of £ 0.72 billion.
Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, said, “We had a good start to the year to support our customers while delivering significantly improved returns for our shareholders.
“Global Banking and Markets had a good quarter and we saw solid business growth in strategic areas including Asia Wealth and Trade Finance and mortgages in Hong Kong and the UK.”
Expected credit losses decreased to £ 290m compared to a charge of £ 2.16b in Q1 2020.
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HSBC commented, “Our first quarter 21 results were positively impacted by net ECL releases, particularly in the UK, driven by improved economic outlooks.
“There is still a high level of uncertainty as countries emerge from the pandemic at different rates and state support measures are being implemented.”
For shareholders, HSBC said there would be no quarterly dividend, as previously announced in the 2020 full-year results, but an interim dividend would be considered ahead of the half-year results in August.