By Adriano Marchese 
 

HSBC Holdings PLC said Wednesday that pretax profit fell significantly in the first half of 2020, and that it will accelerate its transformation program to mitigate costs.

For the six months ended June 30, the lender said pretax profit fell to $4.32 billion, compared with $12.41 billion in the first half of 2019.

Net profit attributable to shareholders fell to $1.98 billion from $8.51 billion.

Reported revenue also fell to $26.75 billion from $29.37 million. Meanwhile, the company said that lending decreased by $18 billion, on a reported basis. However, on a constant currency basis, lending increased by $12 billion, which it said reflects corporate customers drawing on existing and new credit lines and re-depositing these to increase cash balances in the first quarter of 2020.

Looking ahead to the full year, HSBC Holdings said that it continues to face a wide range of potential economic outcomes in the second half of the year, and into 2021, in part dependent on the extent of a second wave in the pandemic.

It noted that lower global interest rates and reduced customer activity have put an increasing amount of pressure on its revenue.

To mitigate these pressures on revenue, the lender said it intends to accelerate its transformation program and take additional cost saving measures.

HSBC Holdings also said it is reviewing its future dividend policy as it monitors the implication of current global uncertainty on its business plan and medium financial targets.

 

Write to Adriano Marchese at adriano.marchese@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 26, 2020 12:17 ET (16:17 GMT)

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