The story appears on

Page B4

November 11, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » Finance

Future brighter for 2 Brit banks

BRITAIN'S top two banks, HSBC and Barclays, signaled bad debts may be past their peak, with HSBC declaring yesterday the first drop in US consumer finance impairments in three years.

Strong investment banking underpinned profits for both banks, although Barclays shares dipped on concern its investment bank will be unable to sustain its growth and is seeing costs rise.

Barclays Plc reported a third-quarter pretax profit of 1.56 billion pounds (US$2.6 billion), down from 2.8 billion pounds a year ago, largely due to losses on the value of its own debt and other one-off items. Excluding those, profit in the first nine months of the year more than doubled to 4.4 billion pounds, the bank said.

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe's biggest bank, said its underlying third-quarter profits were "significantly ahead" of a year ago, though it gave no figures in its trading statement.

It was boosted by improvement at its troubled US consumer finance business, which it is running down. Bad debts there dipped to about US$3 billion, their first fall since the start of 2006 and their lowest level for over a year.

"I believe the biggest jolt has now passed through the global economy," said HSBC Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan. "The world will likely see a two-speed recovery and emerging markets currently offer the brightest prospects for growth."

Barclays said it expected impairments for the full year to be around the bottom end of the previously referenced 2009 consensus range of between 9 billion pounds and 9.6 billion pounds.

Both HSBC and Barclays are emerging as relative winners from the crisis and have avoided taking any direct government cash.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend