5 Mar 2013

Penalty payments disclosed by HSBC

12:07 pm on 5 March 2013

HSBC paid $US4.2 billion last year to cover money laundering fines and the cost of product mis-selling in 2012 in Britain.

The bank has reported a rise in underlying profit and revenue in 2012, and an overall profit before tax of $US20.6 billion.

However, the BBC reports that is a fall of 6% compared with the previous year, and below market expectations.

HSBC's reputation has battered by a Mexican money-laundering scandal.

While acknowledging past failings, chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the bank's performance had been strong enough to allow it to increase its dividend by 10%.

HSBC was fined by British and American regulators for breaking various laws against doing business in Syria and Iran and with Mexican drug cartels.

However, Rabobank senior analyst Oliver Burrows said this won't have put clients off.

The BBC reports a further $US1.7 billion has been set aside to cover the expected cost of past misdemeanours in Britain.

Business rose strongly in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia, and the bank said it saw a sharp turnaround in Europe.

Some 90% of the bank's earnings now come from outside Britain, while about 40% comes from the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, HSBC confirmed that employees numbers had fallen by 10% to 260,591, as it seeks to cut costs.