HSBC Holdings plc 3Q 2023 Earnings Release
Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, said:
“We have had three consecutive quarters of strong financial performance and are on track to achieve our mid-teens return on tangible equity target for 2023. There was good broad-based growth across all businesses and geographies, supported by the interest rate environment. Our Wealth business also gained further traction, attracting $34bn of net new invested assets in the quarter and growing wealth balances by 12% compared with last year. We are pleased to again reward our shareholders. We have now announced three share buy-backs in 2023 totalling up to $7bn, as well as three quarterly dividends which total $0.30 per share. This underlines the substantial distribution capacity that we have, even as we continue to invest in growth.”
Financial performance (3Q23 vs. 3Q22)
- Profit before tax rose by $4.5bn to $7.7bn, reflecting the positive impact of a higher interest rate environment. The increase was in part due to a $2.3bn impairment in 3Q22 relating to the planned sale of our retail banking operations in France, of which $2.1bn was reversed in 1Q23 as the completion of the transaction became less certain. We now expect to reclassify these operations to held for sale in 4Q23, at which point the impairment would be reinstated. On a constant currency basis, profit before tax increased by $4.6bn to $7.7bn. Reported profit after tax increased by $3.6bn to $6.3bn.
- Revenue increased by $4.7bn or 40% to $16.2bn, as the higher interest rate environment supported growth in net interest income in all of our global businesses, and non-interest income increased. On a constant currency basis, revenue rose by 40% to $16.2bn.
- Non-interest income increased by $3.4bn or 97% to $6.9bn, primarily due to the non-recurrence of the impairment relating to the sale of our retail banking operations in France referred to above. The increase also included a rise in the revenue offset driven by higher central costs of funding Global Banking and Markets (‘GBM’) trading activity. These increases were partly offset by disposal losses of $0.6bn relating to repositioning and risk management activities in our hold-to-collect-and-sell portfolio in certain key legal entities. On a constant currency basis, non-interest income rose by 93% to $6.9bn.
- Net interest margin (‘NIM’) of 1.70% increased by 19 basis points (‘bps‘) compared with 3Q22, and decreased by 2bps compared with 2Q23, notably reflecting an increase in customers migrating their deposits to term products, particularly in Asia.
- Expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges (‘ECL‘) of $1.1bn were broadly in line with 3Q22. The 3Q23 charge primarily comprised stage 3 charges, including $0.5bn relating to the commercial real estate sector in mainland China.
- Operating expenses of $8.0bn were $0.2bn or 2% higher than in 3Q22. The growth was primarily due to higher technology costs, the impacts of rising inflation and an increase in the performance-related pay accrual. These increases were partly offset by lower restructuring and other related costs following the completion of our cost-saving programme at the end of 2022.
- Customer lending balances decreased by $24bn compared with 2Q23. On a constant currency basis, lending balances decreased by $5bn, reflecting a reduction in Commercial Banking (‘CMB‘) as demand in Asia remained muted, although mortgage balances in Wealth and Personal Banking (‘WPB‘) were higher, notably in Asia and the UK.
- Customer accounts decreased by $33bn compared with 2Q23. On a constant currency basis, customer accounts were stable.
- Common equity tier 1 (‘CET1’) capital ratio of 14.9% increased by 0.2 percentage points compared with 2Q23, driven by capital generation and lower risk-weighted assets (‘RWAs‘), partly offset by the dividend accrual and the share buy-back announced at 2Q23.
- The Board has approved a third interim dividend of $0.10 per share. We also intend to initiate a further share buy-back of up to $3bn, which we expect to commence shortly and complete by our 2023 full-year results announcement on 21 February 2024. This is expected to have a 0.4 percentage point impact on our CET1 capital ratio.
- From 1 January 2023, we adopted IFRS 17 ‘Insurance Contracts‘, which replaced IFRS 4 ‘Insurance Contracts‘. Comparative data have been restated. For further details of our adoption of IFRS 17, see page 4.
Financial performance (9M23 vs. 9M22)
- Profit before tax increased by $17.4bn to $29.4bn, reflecting a continued benefit from higher interest rates. The increase was in part due to a $2.3bn impairment in 9M22 relating to the planned disposal of our retail banking operations in France, of which $2.1bn was reversed in 9M23 as the sale became less certain. In addition, in 9M23 we recognised a provisional gain of $1.6bn on the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited (‘SVB UK‘). On a constant currency basis, profit before tax increased by $17.8bn to $29.4bn. Profit after tax increased by $12.7bn to $24.3bn.
- Revenue increased by $17.0bn or 47% to $53.0bn, including the favourable impact of the transactions referred to above. The increase also reflected a $6.1bn rise in net interest income, with growth in all of our global businesses. On a constant currency basis, revenue increased by 51% to $53bn.
- NIM of 1.70% increased by 37bps compared with 9M22.
- ECL were $2.4bn, compared with charges of $2.2bn in 9M22. Both periods included allowances relating to the commercial real estate sector in mainland China, which were $0.8bn in 9M23. The charge in 9M22 benefited from releases of Covid-19-related allowances. ECL charges were 32bps of average gross loans, including loans and advances classified as held for sale.
- Operating expenses decreased by $0.5bn or 2% to $23.4bn, mainly due to lower restructuring and other related costs following the completion of our cost-saving programme at the end of 2022. This was partly offset by higher technology costs, the impacts of rising inflation, an increase in performance-related pay accrual, and severance costs of $0.2bn. Target basis operating expenses rose by $1.1bn or 5%.
- We remain committed to targeting a return on average tangible equity (‘RoTE‘) in the mid-teens for 2023 and 2024, which excludes the impact of material acquisitions and disposals.
- We continue to expect net interest income in 2023 to be above $35bn, and the funding costs reported in net interest income that are used to generate trading and fair value income to be in excess of $7bn.
As interest rates have increased, we have taken actions to manage our exposure to the changing interest rate environment. During 3Q23, Markets Treasury incurred disposal losses of $0.6bn relating to repositioning and risk management activities. These actions are accretive to net interest income and reduce the consumption of the Group‘s financial resources. We expect to continue these activities into 4Q23, and incur further losses of approximately $0.4bn. The losses associated with these disposals are already recognised in equity in the ‘debt instruments at fair value through other comprehensive income’ reserve, and do not materially impact our CET1 capital.
- We continue to expect ECL charges of around 40bps of average gross loans in 2023 (including lending balances transferred to held for sale). We continue to monitor risks related to our exposures in mainland China’s commercial real estate sector closely, and there remains a degree of uncertainty in the forward economic outlook, particularly in the UK. Over the medium to long term, we continue to use a range of 30bps to 40bps of average gross loans for planning our ECL charges.
- Reported operating expenses in 9M23 fell by 2% compared with 9M22. Against our cost target basis of around 3% growth in 2023 compared with 2022 (2022: $29.8bn), we now expect an additional increase of approximately 1% due to increased technology and operations expenditure, which we no longer expect to mitigate. We will also consider a potential increase in performance-related pay based on the out-turn of our performance and ongoing execution of our strategy in 4Q23, which would result in a further rise of around 1% in our operating expenses.
Our cost target basis of around 3% growth excludes the incremental costs due to the impact of acquiring SVB UK and related international investments, which we continue to expect will add approximately 1% to the Group’s cost base in 2023. Our cost target basis is measured on a constant currency basis and excludes notable items and the impact of retranslating the results of hyperinflationary economies at constant currency. For further details, see page 4.
- We intend to manage the CET1 ratio within our medium-term target range of 14% to 14.5%, and we aim to manage this range down in the long term. In addition, our dividend payout ratio is 50% for 2023 and 2024, excluding material notable items. We have announced a third interim dividend of $0.10 per share and intend to initiate a further share buy-back of up to $3bn, which we expect to commence shortly and complete by our 2023 full-year results announcement on 21 February 2024. Further buy-backs will be subject to appropriate capital levels.
For further information contact:
UK – Richard O‘Connor
Telephone: +44 (0)7909 873 681
Hong Kong – Yafei Tian
Telephone: +852 2899 8909
UK – Gillian James
Telephone: +44 (0)7584 404 238
UK – Kirsten Smart
Telephone: +44 (0)7725 733 311
Hong Kong – Aman Ullah
Telephone: +852 3941 1120