The world’s largest bank, HSBC, reported a decline in 2022 pre-tax earnings on Tuesday due to impairment costs associated with the impending sale of its French retail operations.
The lender with an emphasis on Asia reported $17.5 billion in pretax earnings, a decrease of more than 7% year over year, while $16.7 billion in after-tax profits.
International banks are dealing with a challenging global economic environment, according to a statement from HSBC to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
In mainland China and Hong Kong, fresh virus outbreaks were identified as having a negative impact on last year’s economic growth.
In addition, it noted that increased inflation, rising interest rates, and the general sense of unease caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have all led to a challenging financial environment that will, in its opinion, have a greater impact on 2023’s profitability than the pandemic itself.
“We are already seeing… a cost of the living crisis affecting many of our customers and colleagues,” Mark Tucker, the group’s chairman said in a statement.
Nonetheless, fourth-quarter pre-tax profit then doubled from $2.5 billion to $5.2 billion, while after-tax profits increased by $2 billion to $16.7 billion.
“All of our businesses grew profits in 2022, and we maintained our strong capital, funding and liquidity positions,” Tucker added.
The bank declared a full-year dividend of $0.32 per share and claimed that last year showed “a great overall financial performance.”