HSBC, a major bank, nearly doubles its quarterly profit

a London, England, HSBC bank location

The world's largest bank, HSBC, reports that rising interest rates are to thank for its nearly doubling quarterly profit.

The London-based company reported profit before tax of $5.2bn (£4.3bn) for the final three months of 2022, an increase of more than 90% from the corresponding period the previous year.

The cost of selling its French retail banking operations, however, caused the pre-tax profit for the entire year to decline by $1.4bn to $17.5bn.

The sale of HSBC's Canadian operations is also ongoing.

After the transaction is complete, the bank stated that it will pay out dividends to shareholders using the funds raised from that sale.

According to HSBC CEO Noel Quinn, "2022 was yet another good year for HSBC.". We are on track to produce greater returns in 2023, he continued.

The company finally succeeded in selling its French retail bank in June 2021, putting an end to its protracted efforts to do so as it prioritizes Asia.

HSBC now anticipates that the disposal will result in a $2 point 4 billion hit to its profits.

HSBC announced in November that it had reached an agreement with the Royal Bank of Canada to sell its Canadian banking operations.

This year is expected to see the completion of the transaction, which was valued at $13.5 billion ($10 billion; £8.3 billion).

In order to appease its largest shareholder, the Chinese insurance juggernaut Ping An, HSBC has been selling businesses.

Ping An has been advocating for HSBC to separate its Asian operations in order to boost profits since last year.

In an effort to reduce costs, HSBC has also been laying off employees recently.

Due to a sharp decline in customer traffic following the pandemic, HSBC announced in November that it planned to close 114 more branches in the UK.

The bank promised to look for alternative employment for the affected employees, but it also issued a warning that about 100 people would be let go.

This came after declarations of the closure of additional branches in 2021 and 2022.

The future of job cuts was also hinted at by Mr. Quinn on Tuesday: "There will be no easing off at all on costs," he said.

He continued, "We are currently taking into account up to $300m in additional costs for severance in 2023.".

In an effort to slow the rise in prices, central banks all over the world have raised interest rates recently.

The Bank of England raised UK interest rates to their highest level in 14 years in December.

Both the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have dramatically raised borrowing costs.

The biggest banks in the UK faced questions from MPs this month about whether they were passing on higher interest rates to savers.

The chief executives of HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, and Barclays in the UK responded by claiming that the debate was incorrectly focused on easy-access savings account interest rates, which typically yield returns of less than 1%.

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