HSBC upbeat after profit increase

Banking group HSBC Holdings says it has made a resilient start to the year with first quarter underlying pre-tax profit well ahead of last year.

Banking group HSBC Holdings says it has made a “resilient” start to the year with first quarter underlying pre-tax profit “well ahead” of last year.

The group, which operates in more than 86 countries globally, says “record” performance in its investment banking business helped push income up year on year

Profit for the financial company, which dubs itself “the world’s local bank”, was also driven by $6.6 billion of gains on the value of its debt.

HSBC says the £12.5bn it raised in a rights issue last month, which was aimed at restoring its balance sheet advantage over rivals, coupled with its first quarter performance, means it is “well-positioned to ride out the economic uncertainty ahead, and to take advantage of opportunities to grow.”

The banking group’s first quarter fortunes contrast sharply with those of the Royal Banking of Scotland, which posted a £160m loss last week, hit by balance sheet write downs.

The results come as HSBC continues its search for a UK marketing director following the departure of James Boulton.

The former PepsiCo Walkers Snack Foods and Unilever marketer resigned in February without a job to go to.

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