beats expectations, CEO Noel Quinn to retire

The HSBC Holding logo is being displayed on a smartphone with HSBC visible in the background in this photo illustration taken in Brussels, Belgium, on February 20, 2024. 

Jonathan Raa | Nurphoto | Getty Images

HSBC beat expectations in its first quarter earnings report on Tuesday.

Revenue came in at $20.8 billion, gaining 0.3% from the same period a year ago and compared with the median LSEG forecast for about $16.94 billion.

Pretax profit in the January to March period came in at $12.7 billion, falling 2% from a year ago when profit before tax came in at $12.88 billion. Still, that figure beat the $12.61 billion forecast from analyst estimates compiled by the bank.

Profit after tax income decreased to $10.84 billion — lower than the $11.03 billion seen in the first quarter of 2023.

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank by assets, has approved a first interim dividend of 10 cents per share, as well as a special dividend of 21 cents per share.

Noel Quinn to retire

The company also announced the retirement of Group CEO Noel Quinn who has been in that position for nearly five years.

“The Board would like to pay tribute to Noel’s leadership of the Company. Noel has had a long and distinguished 37-year career at the Bank and we are very grateful for his significant contribution to the Group over many years,” said Group Chairman Mark Tucker.

“During his tenure, HSBC has delivered record profits and the strongest returns in over a decade,” said Aileen Taylor, group company secretary and chief governance officer in HSBC.

Quinn will remain as Group CEO as the bank begins the process of searching for his successor. HSBC said he has agreed to remain available through to the end of his 12-month notice period — which ends on April 30, 2025 — to support the transition.

Here are the other highlights of the bank’s first quarter financial report card:

  • Net interest margin, a measure of lending profitability, decreased to 1.63% — compared with 1.69% a year ago.
  • Common equity tier 1 ratio — which measures the bank’s capital in relation to its assets — was 15.2%, compared with 14.8% in the fourth quarter of 2023.
  • Basic earnings per share came in at $0.54, slightly higher than $0.52 in the same period a year ago.

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