Pre-tax profit was $10.6bn, down from $19.7bn a year ago, thanks to the sale of its Brazilian unit and currency movements. HSBC’s profits fell almost 50% in the first nine months of the year when Britain’s biggest bank was knocked by losses on the sale of its operations in Brazil.
The $10.6bn of pre-tax profits – compared with $19.7bn a year ago – also included a $500m hit for compensation payments for customers in the UK, largely the result of payment protection insurance misselling.
The bank, which has operations in 71 countries and is headquartered in London, had warned that it would take a loss for the sale of its business in Brazil which was part of a strategy by chief executive Stuart Gulliver to cut costs. In July 2015 he announced an overhaul which included 25,000 job cuts around the world – including up to 8,000 in the UK – as he focused the bank towards Asian markets.
At the end of September, the bank employed 234,681 – down 1,378 from December.