Interim Results 2020

Our Interim Report 2020 and other key documents are available to download.

At a glance

For the half-year ended 30 June 2020

Fact: reported profit before tax was USD4.3 billion for 1H20, compared with USD12.4 billion in 1H19.
Fact: adjusted profit before tax USD5.6 billion for 1H20, compared with USD12.3 billion in 1H19.
Fact: reported revenue was USD26.7 billion for 1H20, compared with USD29.4 billion in 1H19.
Fact: our common equity tier 1 ratio was 15.0 per cent on 30 June 2020, compared with 14.7 per cent on 31 December 2019.
Fact: our adjusted cost efficiency ratio was 56.4 per cent in 1H20, compared with 56.6 per cent in 1H19.
Fact: our return on average tangible equity (in per cent, annualised) was 3.8 per cent in 1H20, compared with 11.2 per cent in 1H19.


  • Performance was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, geopolitical risk and market factors
  • Reported profit before tax fell 65% to $4.3bn, amid higher expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges (ECL) and lower revenue. Reported ECL of $6.9bn were $5.7bn higher than in 1H19
  • Performance in Asia was resilient, demonstrating the strength of our operations. We also saw a strong Global Markets performance but profits were challenged in Europe, the US and the non-ring fenced bank
  • Good cost control and discipline: 2Q20 adjusted costs of $7.3bn down 7 per cent compared with 2Q19
  • Strong funding, liquidity and capital; adjusted deposit growth of $85bn compared with 1Q20, common equity tier 1 ratio of 15.0 per cent
  • We are implementing the 2020-2022 plan at pace; reducing costs and risk-weighted assets, and redeploying investment and capital into areas of faster growth and higher returns

Group Chief Executive’s review

“We are helping our customers navigate their own path through uncertainty and acting with pace and decisiveness to adapt HSBC to an environment in which no business can afford to stand still.”

Noel Quinn, HSBC Group Chief Executive
3 August 2020

Support for customers

We have taken a broad range of actions to help our customers and communities deal with the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. Our operations have stayed highly resilient, with more than 70 per cent of our branch network open globally as at 30 June 2020 and around 85 per cent of our employees equipped to work at home.

Fact: we have provided around USD27 billion in relief for personal lending customers.
Fact: we have offered personal lending customers 700,000 payment holidays in the first half of 2020.
Fact: we have approved around USD52 billion of lending facilities for our wholesale customers in the first half of 2020.

Our global businesses

Wealth and Personal Banking

Wealth and Personal Banking (WPB) was formed in the second quarter by combining our Retail Banking and Wealth Management and Global Private Banking businesses. We supported our customers during the COVID-19 crisis through payment holidays, short-term credit facilities and access to cash.

We continue to invest in digital capabilities to make it easier for customers to bank with us. Performance in 1H20 reflected a rise in adjusted expected credit losses (ECL) charges and a decline in adjusted revenue from the fall in global equity prices and lower interest rates.

Adjusted profit before tax, half-year ($bn)

Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking (CMB) continued to support our customers’ liquidity and working capital needs, growing lending and deposit balances, while our ongoing investment in technology has enabled us to support customers under exceptionally challenging conditions. Performance in 1H20 was adversely impacted by an increase in adjusted ECL charges and the fall in interest rates globally.

Adjusted profit before tax, half-year ($bn)

Global Banking & Markets

Global Banking & Markets (GBM) increased adjusted revenue as a strong Global Markets performance more than offset the impact of falling interest rates and adverse movements in credit and funding valuation adjustments. In 1H20, management actions delivered gross risk-weighted asset reductions of $21bn globally, while 50 per cent of our revenue was generated in Asia.

We continue to invest in digital capabilities to provide value to our clients and support them in the current environment. Our support was recognised in a client survey by Greenwich Associates where we were voted the leading FX dealer in supporting corporate clients during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Adjusted profit before tax, half-year ($bn)

Our transformation programme

On 18 February, we announced a substantial transformation programme to ensure that HSBC is fit for the future. We published plans to reshape underperforming businesses, simplify our complex organisation and reduce our costs.

We are moving forward with these plans wherever we can. We have already begun combining our wholesale back office operations, and brought our retail, wealth and private banking businesses together into a single global business. Our US business has already exceeded its branch reduction target for the year, and Global Banking & Markets has made good early progress in reducing its risk-weighted assets.

The operational risks posed by the Covid-19 outbreak meant that we have had to move more slowly in some areas than others and in March, we paused the redundancy programme intended to deliver the reduction in headcount we promised in February. We lifted the pause on redundancies in June, and intend to proceed thoughtfully but purposefully, while taking local considerations into account.

Now that many governments have become better accustomed to managing the ebb and flow of the pandemic, we intend to accelerate implementation of the plans we announced in February.

Transformation highlights

Reducing RWAs

  • GBM has reduced RWAs by $21bn in 1H20

Reallocating capital to areas of faster growth

  • We have launched Pinnacle, our digital wealth planning and insurance services in mainland China
  • First batch of 100 digitally-enabled wealth planners have started work in Guangzhou and Shanghai

Reducing cost and complexity

  • 1H20 adjusted costs down 5 per cent compared with 1H19
  • Creation of Wealth and Personal Banking complete: wealth balances grew 3 per cent compared with 1H19 to more than $1.4 trillion, despite market volatility
  • The US has reduced its branch footprint by 80, exceeding its 2020 target


The outlook remains highly uncertain. We continue to face a wide range of potential economic outcomes for the second half of 2020 and into 2021. This is partly dependent on the extent of any future potential impacts from possible new waves of COVID-19, and the path to the development of a vaccine.

Geopolitical risk remains heightened and is expected to have economic impacts for the Group and for our clients, particularly those affected by heightened US-China and UK-China tensions, and the future of UK-EU trade relations.

Our performance in the second half of the year will continue to be influenced by these factors, as well as general confidence levels.

We will monitor closely the implications on our business plan, while also undertaking a review of our future dividend policy. We intend to provide an update on our medium-term financial targets and dividend policy at our year-end results for 2020.

We remain focused on helping our customers navigate their own path to a complex future, and acting with pace and decisiveness to adapt HSBC to an environment in which no business can afford to stand still.