HSBC senior leaders today met our Hong Kong retail shareholders, in advance of the Groups Annual General Meeting on 3 May.

On stage representing us were Group Chairman Mark Tucker; Peter Wong, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation; David Liao, Co-CEO, Asia-Pacific; and Luanne Lim, HSBC Hong Kong Chief Executive.

Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn addressed the meeting via pre-recorded video.

The Hong Kong informal shareholders meeting was held at the Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre.

Mark welcomed shareholders and thanked them for their loyal support over the last 12 months.

He highlighted the Group’s improved performance in 2023 and the positive impact for shareholders. He also talked about the Group’s impending Annual General Meeting, and set out the Board’s recommendation to shareholders to vote against resolution 17, which is a shareholder-requisitioned resolution, as set out in the AGM Notice of Meeting .

What was said at the meeting

Mark Tucker, HSBC Group Chairman:

“2023 was a very strong year for HSBC. We reported record profits before tax, which exceeded $30bn for the first time in your Bank’s 159-year history. Our reported return on tangible equity was 14.6% per cent, which was our best performance in over a decade. We also demonstrated good, broad-based profit generation, through geographic and business diversification.

“Our record profit performance allowed us to announce a full-year dividend of 61 US cents per share … which was our highest full-year dividend since 2008. And, looking ahead, the dividend outlook remains strong.

“You may have seen that we completed the sale of our business in Canada last week. Subject to the finalisation of our first quarter results and approval by the Board, we intend to announce a special dividend of 21 US cents per share at our first quarter results later this month.

“We remain very focussed on rewarding you for the trust that you have placed in us.

“The Board and the management team are aiming for 2023 to be part of a longer-term trend of strong financial performance for your Bank and of continuing good returns for our loyal shareholders.”

Noel Quinn, HSBC Group Chief Executive:

“Your bank is performing well, and it’s a good time to be an HSBC shareholder. But we want to do everything we can to ensure this remains the case.

“Given the strength of our balance sheet, we have benefited from supportive interest rates. But we have worked hard to reduce our sensitivity to interest rates, and we expect to have further opportunities to grow revenue, even in a lower rate environment, that should allow us to deliver mid-teen returns in 2024.

“Let me describe just a few. The first opportunity is continued growth in our two home markets of Hong Kong and the UK. We are ideally positioned to capitalise as wealth in Hong Kong and mainland China continues to grow, driven by rapid urbanisation across mainland China and the increased use of the Connect schemes with Hong Kong, and as Hong Kong plays a key role facilitating investment via developing trade corridors, like those between Asia and the Middle East.

“The second opportunity is to grow our strong international franchise. We ranked number one for trade globally last year, second by revenue in our payments business, and we’ve been number three globally by revenue in FX since 2021. But there is a significant amount of untapped opportunity with our existing client base, which can drive revenue growth in the face of declining interest rates.

“To provide some evidence of this, we grew revenue from clients who bank with us in more than one market by 29% in 2023. In recent years, we have also ramped up our investment in our Wealth and Personal Banking international business. 40% of Wealth and Personal Banking revenue already comes from international customers, and we believe we can take it much further. This includes by building our Wealth business to meet the rising demand for wealth management services, especially here in Asia and continuing to develop the strengthened International Banking proposition that we launched last year.

“Alongside, this we will continue to diversify our revenue geographically, and maintaining tight cost discipline will enable us to invest in growth areas, including new technology and our new global HSBC Innovation Banking proposition, which now has a dedicated hub here in Hong Kong.”

Peter Wong, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation:

“This year marks the 159th anniversary of HSBCs establishment, and we have been working hard to improve the experience for our customers.

“For personal customers, the number of users of the HSBC HK App in Hong Kong has exceeded 2 million. The Lite Mode, designed specifically for seniors or teenagers, has attracted nearly 480,000 users since its launch two years ago.

“To support SMEs, we have participated in the Hong Kong Monetary Authoritys Interbank Account Data Sharing pilot program, aiming to make loan applications for SMEs simpler and more convenient.

“We are also continuing to support Hong Kongs international city status by promoting major events. This weekend we are sponsoring the Hong Kong International Sevens Rugby Tournament, and from April 8-10, we will host the HSBC Global Investment Summit, with over 2,000 guests from different sectors worldwide participating.”