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HSBC posts £4.7 billion profit

HSBC posts £4.7 billion profit

Category: Economy

Updated: 01/03/2010
First Published: 01/03/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Europe's biggest bank has posted annual profits of $7.1 billion (£4.7 billion) for 2009, a fall of almost a quarter from 2008.

The fall was put down to an increase in the amount of bad debt HSBC has on its books. Underlying profits rose to $13.3 billion (£8.8 billion).

The results come the week after Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS announced heavy losses during 2009. By contrast with the two troubled providers, HSBC did not receive any direct government support during the financial crisis.

The bank said that it has supported its customers through the downturn, citing their £15 billion of new mortgage lending that it made available in the UK.

Chief executive of the bank, Michael Geoghegan, revealed he would be waiving his fee and planned to donate up to £4 million to charities around the world between now and 2013.

HSBC's group chairman, Stephen Green, defended bonuses, saying that underpaying ultimately resulted in a company losing some of its best people.

The bank believes that bonuses are a legitimate and proper element of reward provision, he added.

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