HSBC has posted a 6% fall to $17.7bn in
underlying gross profit for the 12 months to 31 December.

HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management
business unit contributed less than one dollar in four of group
pre-tax profit ($4.2bn, up 11% year-on-year).

On a reported basis, HSBC’s group gross profit
increased by 15% to $21.9bn.

The growing importance of the emerging markets
was borne out by HSBC’s fiscal 2011 earnings.

On an underlying basis, HSBC’s Europe pre-tax
profits fell by 61% to $1.72bn while HSBC North America posted a
pre-tax loss of $870m.

HSBC’s US performance was significantly
affected by its card and retail banking unit, of which it announced
the pending sale and the run-off of large parts of its US

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HSBC took a hit in Europe of $875m relating to
provisions for UK customer redress programmes, including a charge
in respect of the mis-selling of PPI.

By contrast, HSBC’s Hong Kong and rest of Asia
Pacific business units reported gross profit of $5.8bn and $7.3bn

Retail banking revenue in the Rest of
Asia-Pacific unit increased, primarily as a result of significant
lending growth in mortgages, notably in Australia and Singapore due
to competitive product offerings and strong property markets, and
increased deposit spreads in a number of countries such as mainland
China and India.

HSBC retail banking highlights in 2011
included the extension of mobile banking to 11 new markets.

HSBC also launched its global cards platform
in five new markets in Asia, with deployment in Brazil and Mexico
due to be completed during 2012.