HSBC profits climb as Asia shift pays off

HSBC spurred to huge profits from insurance arm

"Our pivot to Asia is driving higher returns and lending growth, particularly in Hong Kong", he said.

Analysts had expected the bank, which is listed in Hong Kong , London and NY , to report an increase in third-quarter pre-tax profit and revenue, helped by the continuous cost-cutting effort and a low base from a year ago.

Pre-tax profits rose 448% to $4.6bn but, when adjusted for significant items, fell 1%.

The strong results came despite the bank booking more than $770m of exceptional costs for the quarter, including $101m spent on setting up a ring-fenced United Kingdom retail bank to comply with new regulations.

Third-quarter adjusted pre-tax profits eased 1% to $5.4bn versus the year-ago period, behind expectations and hindered by a rise in operating expenses.

Like Mr Flint, newly arrived chairman Mark Tucker also spent much of his career with the bank in Asia, leading many analysts to suggest that HSBC's move east will only accelerate over the coming year.

The latest results reflected favourable movements in significant items, partly reflecting the non-recurrence of a $1.7 billion loss recognised in past year on the bank's sale of operations in Brazil to Banco Bradesco S.A., which was completed on July 1, 2016.

Shares in HSBC were down 0.4% to 745.2p in early trading on Monday.

Mr Flint, who now heads up retail banking and wealth management at the lender, will take up the role on February 21.

HSBC Holdings PLC swung to a third-quarter net profit and said increased investment in its Asia business was paying off, with revenue there rising.

"We maintained good momentum in the third quarter, with higher revenue in our three main global businesses".

"We won't achieve 10 percent by the end of 2017, but we are heading in the right direction", Mackay said.

Asia was the key growth driver in loans, insurance and wealth management, the bank said.

The bank has also been able to maintain its capital buffers and dividends despite multiple rounds of share buyback programs.

On Monday, Mr. Gulliver said HSBC had hit most of the targets he set out in 2015 and that he aimed to have them all done when he retires from the bank on February 20, 2018.

At a regional level, while Asia contributed the greatest revenue growth and 70% of group adjusted profit in the first nine months of the year, Europe contributed its second quarterly loss of the year.

HSBC posted a 5 percent drop in adjusted revenue in fixed income, currencies and commodities business during the quarter.

The bank could end up moving fewer than 1,000 jobs to Paris following Britain's exit from the European Union, Mackay told reporters on a conference call, following previous remarks from senior bank executives suggesting that many roles would move.

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