The bank — which is still headquartered in London even though it makes most of its money in Asia — told investors on Tuesday that it is planning to “step up” its investments in the region by about $6 billion. It’s also shifting more resources there, including relocating some key personnel.
The continued focus on Asia came as HSBC announced that its pre-tax profit fell to $8.8 billion last year, a 34% slump compared to the year before. Revenue, meanwhile, fell 10% to $50.4 billion.
Still, that was still better than what analysts had expected. And the bank on Tuesday said it is aiming to reinstate its dividend “at the earliest opportunity,” starting at 15 cents per share.
“This was a difficult decision and we deeply regret the impact it has had on our shareholders,” Tucker said in his statement, adding that the board had “adopted a policy designed to provide sustainable dividends in the future.”
HSBC’s stock rose 2.2% in Hong Kong on Tuesday before pulling back somewhat.
However, the bank disclosed during its results that it was in talks to sell off its retail arm in France.
“[We] are in negotiations in relation to a potential sale although no decision has yet been taken,” it said. “If any sale is implemented, given the underlying performance of the French retail business, a loss on sale is expected.”
— This is a developing story and will be updated.