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HSBC profits disappoint ahead of ‘bumpier’ financial times

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HSBC has reported a lower-than-expected 2015 pre-tax profit for the end of 2015, as the bank sees a “bumpier” financial environment ahead.

The bank said profit before tax was $18.87bn (£13.28bn) for 2015 against $18.7bn the year before. Net profit for 2015 dropped 1.2 per cent to $13.52bn from the previous year.

HSBC group chief executive Stuart Gulliver says: “Targeted investment, prudent lending and our diversified, universal banking business model helped us achieve revenue growth in a difficult market environment, whilst also reducing risk-weighted assets.

“Strict cost management slowed cost growth and our cautious approach to credit helped keep loan impairment charges low. We made a good start in implementing the plans that we announced at our investor update in June. Delivering against these plans remains our primary focus.”

Group chairman Douglas Flint said HSBC’s performance has been “broadly satisfactory”.

He said China’s slower economic growth would create a “bumpier financial environment” in 2016, but the bank will continue to focus on China as the country becomes more consumer orientated.

Despite the lower-than-expected results HSBC increased its dividend, to $0.51 a share, from $0.50 a share last year.

Earlier this month, HSBC decided to keep its headquarters in London after a 10-month review, and said London as a headquarter is “not only compatible, but offered the best outcome for our customers and shareholders”.

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