The oldest foreign lender HSBC India today reported 11 per cent dip in pre-tax profit for the January-June period at USD 335 million due to a fall in the merchant banking, retail banking and wealth businesses.
The Hong Kong-registered British lender had posted a pre-tax profit of USD 380 million in the year-ago period.
The bank’s overall revenue increased to USD 929 million from USD 870 million, it said in an interim report for the first six months of the year.
India is the third-largest revenue contributor at present, after Hong Kong and the mainland China for the British lender, which also is the world’s fourth-largest bank.
However, the lower bottomline number comes despite the bank registering a healthy 19 per cent growth in gross advances at USD 8.46 billion from USD 7.058 billion on the back of a healthy increase in the commercial and international trade loans.
Performance of global banking and markets, which is the merchant banking vertical, dipped during the reporting period with pre-tax profits narrowing to USD 195 million from USD 243 million a year ago.
The retail and wealth management verticals reported a loss of USD 3 million as against a pre-tax profit of USD 6 million in the year-ago period, it said.
Pre-tax profit from the controversial ‘global private banking’ business moved up to USD 7 million this year from USD 5 million.
Among other verticals, there was a dip in commercial banking arm wherein its pre-tax profit fell to USD 46 million from USD 59 million.
However, there was a surge in other income to USD 90 million from USD 67 million, it added.
Its customer accounts dipped to 11,372 from 12,155 in the year-ago period and from 11,678 in December 2014, it said.
HSBC, which is facing a probe by government authorities into accounts held by Indians in Switzerland, said it is cooperating with the authorities.
The bank also disclosed a number of other probes in various countries for “alleged tax evasion, money laundering and unlawful cross-border banking solicitation” and said it is cooperating with relevant authorities in all these matters.
“In February 2015, a public prosecutor in Switzerland commenced an investigation of HSBC Swiss Private Bank, and the Indian tax authorities issued summons and request for information to an HSBC company in India,” it added.