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HSBC: outlook darkens, restructuring pain ahead

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HSBC: outlook darkens, restructuring pain ahead

HSBC: outlook darkens, restructuring pain ahead

HSBC has dropped its 2020 profit target, reported a sharp fall in earnings and warned of a costly restructuring to come.

David Pollard reports.


HSBC: outlook darkens, restructuring pain ahead

Tough times, tough messages from HSBC.

Europe's biggest bank by assets reported a sharp fall in earnings on Monday (October 28), and dropped its 2020 profit target.

Pre-tax profit at 4.8 billion dollars for Q3 was almost ten per cent below forecasts.

Overall, a poor set of results, said one analyst ... A sentiment the bank's interim CEO appeared to agree with - describing HSBC's poor performance as 'not acceptable." Noel Quinn is thought likely to present a major restructuring plan early next year ... A move which may - possibly - bolster his credentials for permanently taking over the top job.

The task list is long.

Across the sector, low interest rates are causing huge pain.

And HSBC's investment arm is hurting too - profits were down 22 per cent in the first nine months of the year ... On top of that, Brexit in Britain and unrest in Hong Kong are taking their toll on a bank which splits operations between the two bases.

HSBC shares - with a loss of three per cent - were set for their worst day in eight months on Monday, as investors pondered a future strategy as yet unknown ... But which is thought likely to see cuts to divisions or jobs - or both.

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