HSBC sees full year profit plunge 62% to $7.1bn

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HSBC has reported a 62% fall in annual pre-tax profit for 2016.

The $7.1bn (£5.7bn) figure compares with $18.9bn a year earlier, and is well short of the $14.4bn analysts had been expecting.

The bank attributed the fall in profit to a string of one-off charges, including the sale of its operations in Brazil.

HSBC also pointed out it managed to increase market share in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The bank confirmed last year it would keep its European headquarters in London, despite Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

But announcing the results on Tuesday, HSBC chairman Douglas Flint said the bank's current planning suggested it may need to relocate some 1,000 roles from London to Paris over the next two years, depending on how negotiations develop.

He added the bank had "broadly all the licenses and infrastructure needed to continue to support our clients once the UK leaves the EU".

'Digital transformation'

HSBC makes most of its money outside the UK and in Asia accounts for the bulk of bank's global pre-tax profit.

Its bank's shares are listed in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.

HSBC had revealed plans earlier in the year to shut a further 62 bank branches in the UK in 2017, due to growth in mobile and internet banking which means many of its customers now conduct their transactions via the internet or on smartphones. The bank closed 223 UK branches last year.

Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said the bank was investing more than $2bn in "digital transformation initiatives to improve our offer to customers".


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