HSBC has Great First Half of Year as Pre-tax Profit Climbs to 10%

HSBC is the largest bank in Europe, and pre-tax profit at the bank was up a healthy 10% during the first half of this year when compared with this time last year.

The pre-tax profit climbed to £8.7bn ($13.6bn) in the first half of the year, compared with $12.3bn this tie last year, higher than the anticipated forecasts of $12.5bn.

HSBC also announced that it has sold the Brazil unit to Banco Bradesco for a tidy sum of $5.2bn. This move comes as part of the company’s aim to reduce costs, and it is still planning to cut 50,000 jobs.

Douglas Flint is chairman of the group, and recently said that the banking environment remains challenging. He also mentioned that in many parts of the world economic conditions are uncertain, and “regulatory workloads have never been higher”.

HSCB is still continuing to cooperate in investigations which aim to discover whether the company and employees were acting appropriately when it came to whether US customers had tax reporting obligations. This comes after claims surfaced in February that HSBC were helping wealthy clients around the world evade their tax responsibilities, leading to hundreds of millions of pounds of tax loss.

Stuart Gulliver is the chief executive of the group, and earlier this year he apologised for the unacceptable practices at the Swiss bank which was helping clients avoid tax.

HSBC was fined £2.6bn last year, along with 5 other banks over the attempted manipulation of the foreign exchange rates.

The bank’s sale of the Brazilian operations has marked its retreat from a huge market, where it has close to 21,000 staff. HSBC is also looking at withdrawing from other under-performing markets around the world and is looking at selling its businesses in Turkey.

The bank is also considering moving from London to Hong Kong, and the decision on whether to move its global headquarters will be made later this year.