HSBC reports 31% profit hike in first quarter despite cost of UK economic uncertainty | Business News

HSBC has reported a 31% hike in profits in the first quarter of the year, despite counting the cost of economic uncertainty in the UK.

Profit before tax at the London-based banking giant rose above expectations to $6.2bn in January-March, up from $4.8bn for the same period last year, it said in a stock exchange filing on Friday.

The latest quarter’s profit was above the $5.6bn average of analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank.

At the same time, HSBC said reported operating expenses fell 12% over the quarter.

The global lender also increased its provision for bad loans in its commercial banking business, which it linked to current economic uncertainty in the UK.

Chief executive John Flint said: “These are an encouraging set of results, particularly in the context of heightened economic uncertainty globally.

“We remain focused on executing the strategy we outlined last June, while also being alert to risks in the global economy.”

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