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HSBC Bermuda profit more than doubles to $45m

HSBC Bermuda's net profit more than doubled to $45 million in 2013, as the company cut expenses and withstood significant allowances for bad loans.

The bank, part of the HSBC global empire, revealed its Bermuda unit's results today and stressed that it had helped “a large number of customers” to restructure loans during the year.

Operating revenue rose $7 million, or three percent, to $242 million, while the bank cut expenses by $6 million, or three percent, to $206 million.

Total loans and advances to customers declined 16 percent year over year to $3.09 billion.

The difficulties of borrowers in the tough economic environment were evident in the banks numbers, as impairment allowances increased to seven percent of gross loans, compared to four percent in 2012.

“The impairment allowances were required as a prudent response to continuing stress in both the local and international real estate markets, reflecting lower values for both commercial and residential property and higher delinquency levels,” HSBC Bermuda chief financial officer Michael Schrum said in a statement.

The bank's total assets of $14.17 billion at December 31, 2013, were up seven percent from a year earlier. The total capital adequacy ratio, a measure of financial stability, was 20 percent, comfortably exceeding regulatory requirements.

CEO Richard Moseley said all of the banks employees could take pride in the bank's response to challenging times for its whole customer base, from residential to corporate clients.

“Locally, we have spent much time with many individuals and businesses to help our customers manage through difficult times,” Mr Moseley said. “Indeed we have made it a key priority to assist a large number of customers to restructure their financial obligations through traditional means, such as debt consolidation, as well as innovative solutions helped by our ability to leverage the broad skill base of the wider HSBC Group.”

Mr Moseley stressed that the HSBC Group's local network had enabled it to provide new ways to help its international business customers on the Island.

“The Bank was selected in lead management roles for a number of capital markets transactions, and we continue to assist our insurance clients with management of their cash flow and non-US dollar catastrophe claims by providing value added foreign exchange content and foreign currency accounts.

“We have undertaken a number of Chinese renminbi on/offshore foreign exchange transactions. We also provided significant local financing for our larger local clients.”

Developments in HSBC's personal banking included “principal protected” investments, additional insurance products, and being the first bank in Bermuda to introduce a mobile banking application as well as additional internet banking security measures.

The bank noted it had seen “a significant inflow of additional funds” into its Private Banking Investment Management business.

Mr Moseley stressed the bank had put much time, effort and money into the community.

“In 2013, HSBC provided over three quarters of a million dollars in sponsorships and donations, supporting many community initiatives and events,” the CEO said. “HSBC also supports volunteering in the community through the HSBC Staff Volunteer Community Action Day Programme which was launched in 2006 and, since its inception, HSBC staff have volunteered nearly 8,000 hours to helping the community.

“The bank has made diversity a major theme, organising many events and recognising the value that diversity brings to us as an organisation and the diverse nature of our customers.

“I would like to personally thank our customers for their continued support and confidence in the bank and our staff for their commitment and support to our customers during this difficult period.”

HSBC Bermuda: Profits rose despite significant loan impairment allowances

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Published March 03, 2014 at 5:14 pm (Updated March 03, 2014 at 5:15 pm)

HSBC Bermuda profit more than doubles to $45m

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