HSBC has beaten analyst forecasts with an
interim profit before tax of $11.47bn, up 3.3% from the year ago

First half highlights included a more than
doubling of pre-tax profit at HSBC’s retail banking and wealth
management unit, to $3.13bn, largely driven by falling

At group level, loans increased by 16.1% to
$1.04trn while customer deposits increased by 14.9% to

HSBC ended the first half with a Core tier 1
capital ratio of 10.8%, up 30 basis points from a year ago. Total
assets increased by 11.2% year-on-year to $2.69trn.

Less positive metrics included a 39% fall in
pre-tax profit at HSBC’s European business unit to $2.15bn.

In the first half, HSBC’s cost-income ratio
increased by 6.6 percentage points to 57.5%; it has targeted a
cost-income ratio of 48%-52%.

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HSBC has accelerated its disposal of non-core
operations with the sale of 195 branches in New York to First
Niagara Bank for around $1bn.

The US branch disposal follows the
announcement that HSBC will withdraw from retail banking in

Three months ago, HSBC chief executive Stuart
Gulliver set out plans to boost the bank’s performance via a
programme of business disposals, job cuts and increased investment
in the emerging markets at HSBC’s strategy day.