Financial performance

  • Reported revenue of $13.7bn was 6% higher, driven by higher deposit margins and balance growth in RBWM, and GLCM growth within CMB, notably in Asia. These increases were partly offset by lower revenue in Corporate Centre. Adjusted revenue of $13.9bn was 3% higher, excluding the effects of currency translation and movements in significant items.

  • Reported operating expenses of $9.4bn were 13% higher, primarily reflecting investments to grow the business and enhance our digital capabilities, and the effects of currency translation. Adjusted operating expenses of $8.2bn were 8% higher, excluding the effects of currency translation and movements in significant items.

  • Reported profit before tax of $4.8bn was 4% lower, as higher revenue was more than offset by higher operating expenses. Adjusted profit before tax of $6.0bn was 3% lower, excluding the effects of currency translation and movements in significant items.

  • Lending growth of $17bn in 1Q18, increasing net loans and advances to customers by 2% in the quarter.

  • Strong capital base with a common equity tier 1 (‘CET1’) ratio of 14.5% and a CRD IV leverage ratio of 5.6%.

  • We intend to initiate a share buy-back of up to $2bn, which we expect to commence shortly. In light of the growth opportunities that we currently see, we expect this to be the only share buy-back that we announce in 2018.

  • We intend to call two Tier 1 securities, with a nominal amount outstanding of $6bn.

John Flint, Group Chief Executive, said:

“Our global businesses performed well in the first quarter, maintaining momentum from the end of 2017. We continue to benefit from interest rate rises and economic growth, particularly in Asia. Our primary focus is to grow the businesses safely, and we have increased investment to deliver that aim. We intend to deliver positive jaws for 2018.”

Review by John Flint, Group Chief Executive

Our global businesses performed well in the first quarter. Retail Banking and Wealth Management and Commercial Banking both benefited from wider deposit spreads and increased balances to deliver significant increases in adjusted revenue on last year’s first quarter. Both businesses also grew lending, with Commercial Banking making notable progress in Hong Kong and the UK, and Retail Banking and Wealth Management making further headway in the UK mortgage market. Global Banking and Markets adjusted revenue was stable relative to a strong first quarter last year, as growth in transaction banking and Equities revenue balanced the impact of lower client activity on our fixed income businesses. Global Private Banking grew adjusted revenue and continued to attract net new money in its target markets.

A stronger revenue environment enabled us to invest in growing the business. In 1Q18, we increased investment in Retail Banking and Wealth Management to further grow our market share in the UK and mainland China. We also made strategic hires in our securities joint venture in mainland China, and invested to enhance our digital capabilities in all our global businesses. This targeted spending contributed to a rise in adjusted costs in the first three months of the year. We intend to deliver positive adjusted jaws for 2018. Having received the appropriate regulatory clearances, we now plan to execute a share buy-back of up to $2bn. We expect this to commence shortly.

For further information contact:

Investor Relations

UK - Richard O’Connor
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7991 6590

Hong Kong - Hugh Pye
Tel: +852 2822 4908

Media Relations

UK - Heidi Ashley
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7992 2045