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HSBC Beats Expectations, Records 100 Percent Increase in Pre-tax Profit in H1 2021

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by Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 3 min read
HSBC Beats Expectations, Records 100 Percent Increase in Pre-tax Profit in H1 2021
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HSBC shares in Hong Kong jumped more than 3% following earnings release. On NYSE, the stock is up 1.56%.

In an announcement that has taken the industry by storm and caught experts unaware, HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HSBC) has announced that its Pre-tax profit for the first half of the year is $10.84 billion, a figure that is more than double what it recorded in the January-to-June period last year. 

Analysts’ estimates earlier compiled by the bank had pointed to a $9.45 billion in reported pre-tax profit during that period thereby making the figures it recorded larger by over $1 billion. 

The pre-tax profit is just one of the many revelations in the first half 2021 earnings report by the bank that caught experts unaware and came as a shock to many. 

The bank, which is Europe’s largest lender, benefited from an improving global economic outlook as it continued to cancel provisions set aside to cover credit losses during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic that hit performance in 2020.

According to the announcement, in the second quarter alone, the bank beat analyst estimates with ease. Analysts had predicted an income of about $3.7bn, despite a slight drop in revenue. 

A $6 billion plan to grow its Asia wealth business is also very significant in understanding how the bank has boosted investments.

Per a FT report, “the lender also appointed new co-heads of its Asia-Pacific business in June after Peter Wong, who had been chief executive in the region for more than a decade, stepped down in order to take a role as a non-executive director. The bank is also in the process of relocating four of its top executives from the UK to Hong Kong as it continues to accelerate a strategic shift to Asia.”

These are good results that reflect the return of growth in our main markets and marked progress in the execution of our strategy, said HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn. He noted that the bank was profitable in every region in the first half of the year, supported by the release of expected credit loss provisions.

Another $300m of provisions earlier set aside for bad debts during the pandemic in the second quarter was canceled. Bringing the total reserves it has now canceled to $700m. 

This cancellation allowed for a decrease in its total of reserves down to about $2.4bn and in turn helped net profits for the first half of 2021 alone surge to $10.8bn, which is an increase of about 150 percent compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, revenue fell 4.5% from a year ago to $25.55 billion in the first six months of 2021 — broadly in line with the $25.52 billion that analysts had projected.

HSBC shares in Hong Kong jumped more than 3% following earnings release with a good profit. On NYSE, the stock is up 1.56%. The performance marked a turnaround from a bleak 2020, when banks grappled with ultra-low interest rates, a slowdown in trade and the fallout from unprecedented global lockdowns. Last year, HSBC’s annual profit plunged 45 percent.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo

Oluwapelumi is a believer in the transformative power Bitcoin and Blockchain industry holds. He is interested in sharing knowledge and ideas. When he is not writing, he is looking to meet new people and trying out new things.

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