HSBC blames its ‘challenging year’ as profit falls 17%
23 February 2015, Nirapad News: HSBC said 2014 was a ‘challenging year’ after reporting a 17% drop in profit to £12.2bn. The bank blamed the negative effect of fines and settlements and UK customer redress for the sharp drop. On Monday, HSBC reiterated its recent apology for the conduct of its Swiss private bank, saying the historical practices and behavior were ‘unacceptable’.
The results follow allegations, which emerged earlier this month, that HSBC had helped people evade UK tax using hidden HSBC accounts in Geneva. HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver saw his overall pay for the year fall to £7.6m from £8.03m in 2013.
The lower total reflects a smaller bonus of £3.4m for the year, compared to £5.5m in 2013. Chairman Douglas Flint’s total pay increased to £2.5m from £2.4m for the year, but he did not receive a bonus.
‘We deeply regret and apologise for the conduct and compliance failures highlighted, which were in contravention of our own policies, as well as expectations of us,’ it said.
The bank said restoration of trust in the industry ‘remains a significant challenge as further misdeeds are uncovered but it is a challenge we must meet successfully’.
‘When commentators extrapolate instances of control failure or individual misconduct to question the culture of the firm, it strikes painfully at the heart of our identity,’ it added.